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Season’s first win comes in October as Raiders beat Broncos

Updated: Oct 2, 2022

Las Vegas defensive lineman Maxx Crosby is pictured against the Denver Broncos during Week 4 from Allegiant Stadium. Photo Credit: Las Vegas Raiders

It didn’t happen until the second month of the season but the Las Vegas Raiders have their first win of the 2022 season.

Las Vegas downed Denver, 32-23, Sunday, Oct. 2 from Allegiant Stadium for the team’s first win under first-year head coach Josh McDaniels in four tries.

McDaniels coached the Broncos for two years about a decade ago, compiling an 11-17 record in the process before being fired in his final season.

“I have said this over and over again, ‘I don’t look at them with any ill-will,” he said. “They gave me a great opportunity at a young age. If anything, I look at it like it was a blessing because I learned so much from it. That made me better and I’ve been forever grateful to [previous Denver owner] Mr. [Patrick] Bowlen for what he gave me an opportunity to do and unfortunately, I didn’t do well-enough with it.

“I don’t look at that team with any ill-will other than the fact that they’re a divisional opponent and we don’t like any of those guys.”

With the win, the Raiders increased their playoff chances to just about 15%. A loss and an 0-4 start would’ve meant a one percent chance to make the postseason. Now, the team is 1-1 in the AFC West this year.

Another division matchup lies ahead for Las Vegas as it prepares to head to Kansas City for a Monday, Oct. 10 date with the Chiefs. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:15 p.m.

“I think our guys worked really hard this week to make better what we need to improve,” McDaniels said. “There’s still plenty of meat on the bone as you guys all know but I loved our effort [and] I loved our attitude.”

Denver quarterback Russell Wilson was nearly perfect in the first half, muscling the ball downfield at will. He threw his first of two touchdown passes in the first quarter from five yards out. Earlier on the drive he found tight end Eric Saubert for 25 yards down the middle of the field.

Raiders safety Duron Harmon chases down Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson. Photo Credit: Las Vegas Raiders

“Just move on,” safety Duron Harmon said. “Eventually, it’ll happen. We just have to keep playing defense the way we know how and the plays will come. You can’t chase anything.”

In the second quarter, Wilson whipped out a 35-yard and 20-yard completion on back-to-back plays to set up the game-tying score.

Wilson ended up with six completions of 15 yards or more, five of which came in the first half.

That second half saw Las Vegas’ front seven have more success getting into the backfield, sacking Wilson two of the three total times for the game.

Defensive end Maxx Crosby was responsible for both second half sacks while defensive back Nate Hobbs recorded the first one in the game’s opening quarter.

“Super proud because as a defense we talk about when the opportunities present themselves to make a play, we have to make them,” Harmon said. “Maxx made some plays, the d-line did a good job of kind of taking the running game away from them in the second half and even in the first half.”

Wilson finished 17-of-25 with 237 passing yards and two touchdowns.

Harmon was also involved in a game-shifting play as he was credited for a forced fumble for a tackle made on Broncos running back Melvin Gordon. After jarring the ball into the air, defensive back Amik Robertson recovered the fumble and took it back 65 yards for the touchdown.

“Somebody had him wrapped around his legs,” Harmon said. “And we talk about Gordon being a target, you just got to put a hat on him. So I just tried to do my best putting my hat on him.”

On offense, the Raiders chose to go with a ground-and-pound effort that saw the team rack up 212 total rushing yards.

Las Vegas running back Josh Jacobs cuts through the hole against Denver during his career day. Photo Credit: Las Vegas Raiders

“We kind of had the mindset that we wanted this to be a physical game,” McDaniels said. “[We] leaned on Josh in the running game a little bit more than what we have and really established that I thought.”

Starter Josh Jacobs had a career-day with 144 rushing yards on 28 carries and two touchdowns. He now has nine touchdowns against Denver in his career, the most versus any opponent.

“They say it’s something about rivals man,” Jacobs said. “They bring the best out of you. I guess that's what it tends to do for me.”

The first score came in the early part of the second quarter to put Las Vegas on top 10-7. His final one came as the Raiders iced the game on a 10-play, 75-yard drive that lasted more than five minutes.

“I know when I’m in the zone because everything slows down,” Jacobs said. “It almost feels like I’m running slow but then I look at the film and I’m like, ‘Okay, I did what I’m supposed to do.’ A lot of times, I know when I’m in the zone because a guy hits me, I don’t even feel him.”

Las Vegas didn’t eclipse the 100-yard passing mark until the third quarter as plenty had eyes on the Davante Adams - Pat Surtain II matchup.

Raiders receiver Davante Adams flexes after a 20-yard gain during his nine-catch, 101-yard performance against the Broncos. Photo Credit: Las Vegas Raiders

Adams burned Surtain for a 20-yard reception on the game’s opening drive. That was his longest catch of the day on the way to nine catches for 101 yards. Surtain finished with six tackles and two passes defended.

Quarterback Derek Carr threw for 188 yards on 62% passing. He also rushed for 40 yards on seven carries including some crucial third down situations to keep drives alive.

As a team, Las Vegas went 2-for-5 in the red zone.

Kicker Daniel Carlson did extend his Allegiant Stadium perfect streak to 45 after a 4-for-4 day. He did miss an extra point in the second quarter.


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