In the Raiders’ seventh straight victory over the Broncos, Garoppolo and Meyers sabotage Payton’s Denver debut. The Raiders still own the Broncos, regardless of the quarterbacks or coaches they use.
In their first game together in Las Vegas, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jakobi Meyers both threw two touchdown passes, and the Raiders’ 17-16 victory over the Broncos on Sunday spoiled Sean Payton’s debut as Denver’s head coach.
The Raiders extended their winning streak over their AFC West rivals to seven games in spite of the absence of their star pass rusher Chandler Jones, who is embroiled in a dispute with the front office. “It ain’t got to be pretty, you’ve just got to get it done,” Davante Adams said as he walked off the field with Garoppolo.
For some Broncos supporters, that losing run hurts even more than the Chiefs’ 15-game losing streak. The Raiders and Broncos took turns being the bottom of the division throughout Kansas City’s seven-year reign as AFC West champion.
Meyers, who joined the Raiders after four seasons in New England, and Garoppolo, who moved to Las Vegas after six seasons in San Francisco, connected 10 times for 81 yards, including touchdowns of three and six yards.
With 6:34 left, the second one came after Broncos safety Kareem Jackson’s end zone interception, cutting Denver’s lead to 16-10.
Jimmy possesses exceptional mental toughness. I admire his grit. Josh McDaniels, the Raiders’ coach, praised the player’s toughness.
After reclaiming the lead, the Raiders kept Denver to just one three-and-out, and with about five minutes left, Garoppolo regained possession of the ball and never lost it again.
After a crucial reception, Jackson elbowed Meyers in the head, knocking him to the sideline, and was called for a 15-yard penalty on the drive. The Raiders were able to elapse the time due to the infraction.
McDaniels stated, “I thought we simply needed to make one more play than they did, and that’s what we did.
Russell Wilson’s career was largely revived by Payton’s return to the sidelines following a year away in the Fox broadcast booth due to the quarterback’s worst season. With Nathaniel Hackett at the helm, Wilson performed significantly better than he did the previous season, completing 27 of 34 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns without throwing an interception.
However, once tight end Greg Dulcich (knee) left the game and the Raiders stepped up their pass rush, Wilson was only able to throw for 52 yards in the second half.
For Denver, Payton’s special teams were the biggest issue.
In addition to two costly misses from Wil Lutz, who Payton reacquired in a trade with the Saints last month, there was a costly hold that negated one return, a botched onside kick to start the game, and other mistakes. Lutz was Payton’s go-to kicker in New Orleans.
Lutz, who missed the PAT and a field goal try from 55 yards out, said, “My job is to make points, and to lose a game by one and I leave four points on the board, I didn’t do my job.”
He’ll recover, Payton assured.
Lutz’s poor performance raised further questions about Payton’s choice to fire veteran kicker Brandon McManus in the spring. In the Jaguars’ 31-21 victory over the Colts on Sunday, McManus was 5 for 5 on PATs and field goals. He quickly signed with Jacksonville.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Denver increased its advantage to 16-10 thanks to a successful 24-yard field goal by Lutz. In the wake of Jackson’s end-zone interception off Alex Singleton’s tip, a 16-play, 75-yard drive was completed.
“The pick was a terrible, stupid decision,” said Garoppolo, who completed 20 of 26 throws for 200 yards without being sacked. “You just need to take the points there and discard it when nothing is present. But, you know, I believed that the guys persisted because of their mental toughness. I admire them for that because they have faith in me.
Garoppolo returned the favor by leading the Raiders 75 yards in six plays. Meyers’ 6-yard touchdown catch provided the winning score, and Daniel Carlson’s PAT sealed the victory.
In the first half, Wilson threw two 5-yard touchdown touchdowns. On Denver’s opening drive, the first pass went to wide receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey, another ex-Saints player of Payton’s. Denver’s first drive of the season ended in a touchdown for the first time since 2008 at Oakland.
Denver led 13-10 at halftime because to Wilson’s 5-yard completion to Courtland Sutton with 18 seconds left in the second quarter. With 17 of 19 throws completed for 125 yards and one miss that resulted in a clock-stopping spike, Wilson withdrew to the locker room.
Wilson declared, “I feel wonderful. “Our failure to win tonight is the only thing that is disappointing.”
In his first game since blowing out his left knee at Las Vegas almost a year ago, Javonte Williams led Denver with 52 yards on 13 carries.
Defenders: D Due to a thumb injury, Tre’von Moehrig left the game in the third quarter.
NFL team: ILB First-half injuries to Justin Strnad (left knee) and Dulcich (knee) occurred during Denver’s first drive following the break.
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