DENVER— Shelby Harris knocked down Derek Carr’s 2-point pass to Hunter Renfrow with 7 seconds left and the Denver Broncos put at end to the Raiders’ dim playoff hopes — and to Oakland’s run as an NFL city with a 16-15 win Sunday.
The Raiders (7-9) nearly made the Broncos (7-9) pay dearly for Garett Bolles’ latest penalty, a personal foul that pushed Brandon McManus way back for a 57-yard field-goal attempt, which sailed wide left, giving Oakland the ball at its 45-yard line with 1:41 remaining.
Carr hit Renfrow for the touchdown on second-and-goal from the 3 — the first time the Raiders reached the end zone in five red-zone trips — and Jon Gruden went for 2 instead of the tie.
The Raiders had an outside shot of making the playoffs for just the second time since 2002, but they needed several things to go right, starting with a win.
Rookie Drew Lock won for the fourth time in his five starts and Phillip Lindsay topped 1,000 yards for the second straight season for Denver, which went 7-5 after a winless September under first-year head coach Vic Fangio.
The Raiders lost five of their last six games in missing the playoffs for the second straight season under Gruden.
The Broncos are missing the playoffs for a fourth consecutive year but one thing they were better at than anyone in the league in 2019 was red zone defense.
And it showed up Sunday when they turned away the Raiders four times from inside the 20, none bigger than Von Miller’s stuff of fullback Alec Ingold on fourth-and-goal from a foot away.
Trailing 16-3, the Raiders pulled within a touchdown on a pair of field goals by Daniel Carlson sandwiched around a fumble by Royce Freeman that was recovered by Oakland defensive and Clelin Ferrell.
Oakland managed just three points in three red-zone drives to start the game.
The first drive ended with Carlson missing wide left on a 39-yard field-goal attempt. Carlson was good from 23 yards after the Raiders stalled at the Denver 5-yard line on their next possession, and McManus matched him with a 43-yarder to make it 3-3.
The Raiders thought they scored on their next drive when Derek Carr hit Renfrow over the middle on what was initially ruled a 5-yard touchdown grab on third-and-goal. The score was overturned on review, however, and the ball was placed about a foot shy of the goal line.
On fourth down, Miller stuffed Ingold and Gruden was hot — and even hotter after losing his challenge of the call.
That marked the Broncos’ first goal line stand since Oct. 22, 2017, at San Diego.
Safety Trey Marshall, filling in for suspended teammate Kareem Jackson, stripped Marcell Ateman after a long catch and recovered the fumble himself at the Oakland 41.
That set up Lock’s 1-yard TD toss to fullback Andrew Beck that gave Denver a 10-3 halftime lead.