Raiders shock Broncos with second-half comeback, 15-12

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DENVER – The Broncos suffered an inexplicable loss Sunday, settling for four first-half field goals after getting into the red zone, then turning over the ball twice in the second half that allowed the Oakland Raiders to come back for a shocking 15-12 win at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

The Broncos (10-3) saw their lead in the AFC West shrink to two games over the Kansas City Chiefs, who held on to beat the San Diego Chargers, with two games to play.

And Denver blew an opportunity to take over the top spot in the AFC after the Cincinnati Bengals lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 33-20.

The win by the Raiders snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Broncos in the historic rivalry that dates to 1960.

The Broncos held the Raiders to minus-12 yards in the first half, but because of offensive woes in the red zone, they settled for four Brandon McManus field goals – from 41, 35, 29 and 20 yards — and only a 12-0 lead.

The Raiders adjusted in the third quarter, taking the second-half kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown. Then late in the third quarter, a strip sack of quarterback Brock Osweiler in the end zone was recovered by a Broncos offensive lineman for a safety to make it 12-9.

Then the Broncos’ special teams put the defense in a hole when Emmanuel Sanders muffed a punt and the Raiders recovered at the Broncos 11-yard line.

Three plays later, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr found a wide-open Mychel Rivera to give the Raiders their first lead of the game, 15-12 with 14:12 to play in the fourth quarter after Oakland went for two and failed to get it.

Osweiler and the offense finally responded, but McManus’ 49-yard field goal attempt hit the left upright with 10:22 to play in the fourth quarter.

The Broncos got the ball back three more times, but they failed to get into Raiders territory, including once on fourth down after a wide-open Vernon Davis dropped a pass that would have resulted in a first down.

Incredibly, the Raiders won by gaining only 127 yards. The Broncos finished with 310 yards, but only 106 in the second half.

Relive the Broncos’ loss over the Raiders below. Denver travels to Pittsburgh to play the surging Steelers next week at 2:25 p.m.

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The Broncos took the opening kickoff and drove into Raiders territory, with quarterback Brock Osweiler completing all six passes for 54 yards.

But the drive stalled and the Broncos settled for a 41-yard field goal from Brandon McManus to take a 3-0 lead with 9:42 left in the first quarter.

On their second drive, the Broncos drove 61 yards in nine plays and got a 35-yard field goal from McManus for a 6-0 lead with 2:05 to play in the second quarter.

The Broncos dominated the first quarter, allowing only 1 yard to the Raiders and controlling the clock for 10:25 to 4:15 for the Oakland.

The Broncos offense continued to be efficient in the second quarter, driving 63 yards in 15 plays and taking 8:37 off the clock, but it bogged down again the red zone. Denver had to settle for a 29-yard field goal from McManus for a 9-0 lead with 4:29 to play in the first half.

At that point, the Broncos had rolled up 163 yards to minus-14 for the Raiders and controlled the clock for 19:32 to 5:59 for Oakland.

A late second-quarter drive looked promising again for the Broncos, but more red zone woes forced them to settle for a 20-yard field goal from McManus with four seconds left in the first half and a 12-0 lead.

The Raiders finished the first half with a mind-boggling minus-12 yards of offense against the potent Broncos defense, but the lack of touchdowns kept Oakland within striking distance.

The minus-12 yards were the fewest the Broncos have allowed in a half in 25years. The Chargers held the previous mark with 18 yards in 2003.

The Broncos finished the first half with 224 yards and had a 17-1 edge in first downs. Denver also controlled the clock for 23:04 to 6:56 for Oakland.

But the Raiders came out of their offensive rut to start the second half, driving 80 yards in nine plays to cut the Broncos’ lead to 12-7 with 9:47 to play in the third quarter.

Quarterback Derek Carr capped the drive by finding Seth Roberts in the back of the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown pass. The play was reviewed but was upheld.

The Raiders then got the ball in Broncos territory after Demaryius Thomas fumbled a reception that would have resulted in a first down. But the defense again came through, with Shaquil Barrett blasting up the middle to sack Carr on third-and-inches to force a punt with 4:35 to play in the third quarter.

The Raiders cut the deficit to 12-9 2:02 left in the third quarter when Osweiler fumbled in the end zone after being hit by Khalil Mack. But offensive lineman Manny Garcia recovered the ball for a safety.

The Broncos offense was abysmal in the third quarter: Four possessions were all three-and-out and they totaled only 6 yards.

Then the Broncos special teams put the defense in a hole when Emmanuel Sanders muffed a punt and the Raiders recovered at the Broncos 11-yard line.

Three plays later, Carr found a wide-open Mychel Rivera to give the Raiders their first lead of the game, 15-12 with 14:12 to play in the fourth quarter after Oakland went for two and failed to get it.

Osweiler and the offense finally responded, but McManus’ 49-yard field goal attempt hit the left upright with 10:22 to play in the fourth quarter.

The Raiders had a chance to up the lead to six, but Sebastian Janikowski pushed a 43-yard field goal wide left with 5:07 to play to keep it 15-12.

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