DENVER — In a game where the Broncos only had the lead for a few seconds, Denver improved to 2-0 with a 20-19 victory over the Oakland Raiders.
It was 92 degrees at kickoff making it the hottest game ever played in Denver – and after a first half where the Broncos only had 23 yards of total offense, they adjusted at the half to put up 20 points and complete the comeback.
Here’s a look at how the game went down.
After winning the coin toss, the Broncos elected to defer to the second half to give the Raiders the ball first to go up against Von Miller and the Broncos defense.
Derek Carr and the Raiders marched down the field to set up a 26-yard field goal to take the early 3-0 lead.
It was a bad first quarter for the Broncos offense.
After not recording a single three-and-out in their opener, the Broncos had three in the first quarter with only 23 yards worth of offense.
Miller came up big for Broncos taking down Carr on 3rd and 3 at the Broncos 28-yard line to force a field goal attempt. That would make the game 6-0.
The Broncos first first-down of the game didn’t come until the second quarter with a huge 53-yard run by Phillip Lindsay to put the Broncos in field goal position.
The 53-yard run by rookie RB @I_CU_boy was the Broncos' longest since Justin Forsett's 64-yard run vs OAK (1/1/17) and was the team's 4th-longest in the last 10 years.
— Patrick Smyth (@psmyth12) September 16, 2018
— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) September 16, 2018
But the promising drive went awry as Case Keenum was intercepted by Rashaan Melvin at the goal line. It was Keenum’s fourth interception of the season.
With just 35 seconds left in the first half, the first touchdown of the game was scored by the Raiders with a 1-yard run by Marshawn Lynch.
Following a blocked extra point, it would be 12-0 as the Broncos offense were booed going into halftime.
Keenum finally found Emmanuel Sanders for a 21-yard pass to Emmanuel Sanders to open up the second half.
After a 22-yard run by Lindsay and a short run by Royce Freeman, Demaryius Thomas made a dive for the first down and came up just short.
But an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty by Bruce Irvin gave the Broncos an automatic first down inside the Raiders 10-yard line.
Following the penalty, Keenum found Tim Patrick in the back of the end zone. The catch was ruled a touchdown but was overturned under further review because Patrick was unable to maintain control of the football.
After Thomas went for three yards, Freeman was able to punch it into the end zone for his first NFL touchdown on third and goal.
The Raiders wouldn’t let the momentum shift though as they marched down the field with huge throws on the next drive and topped off the series with a bullet from Carr to the end zone to make it 19-7.
Late in the third quarter, Keenum found Courtland Sutton in the end zone but the catch was ruled incomplete and out of bounds on the field.
Following a Broncos challenge, the call stood and Denver had to settle for a field goal.
The Broncos forced a turnover on downs to give the Broncos excellent field position. Keenum found Jake Butt over the middle for 22-yards to the Raiders 45-yard line.
Following a few more quick hits from Keenum, the Broncos got in the red zone.
Keenum punched it in himself on 4th and goal in the mid-fourth quarter to bring the Broncos within two points of the Raiders 19-17.
CASE KEENUM WILL DO IT HIMSELF!
— NFL (@NFL) September 16, 2018
With less than two minutes left, the Broncos offense got the ball again. Keenum found Sanders for 20-yards, Butt for 15-yards, and a quick throw to Jeff Heuerman got the Broncos a first down with 23 seconds left.
On the next play, Keenum hit Patrick for a big 26-yard gain to put the Broncos in field goal range.
lt all came down to a 36-yard field goal from Brandon McManus as the Broncos squeaked out the 20-19 win.
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) September 16, 2018