Denver Broncos | News

Broncos fall 24-16 in season opener vs. Raiders

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OAKLAND, Calif. — Antonio Brown dominated the news cycle as the Broncos prepared to face the Raiders in Week 1, but it was quarterback Derek Carr, running back Josh Jacobs and wide receiver Tyrell Williams who made the difference as Oakland beat Denver 24-16 on "Monday Night Football."

Carr found Williams to open the scoring and the pair added several chunk plays, while Jacobs added two touchdowns of his own.

And in the fourth quarter, when the Raiders needed a first down to salt the game away, Carr hit Williams on third-and-8 to win the game.

The Broncos' defense was unable to force a turnover on Monday in Vic Fangio's head-coaching debut, and Von Miller and Bradley Chubb did not record a sack.

Denver's offense, meanwhile, was shut out in the first half and couldn't overcome a 14-point deficit in the second half.

Joe Flacco did lead a touchdown drive with 2:15 to play in the game to cut the lead to 24-16, but the Broncos couldn't get the final stop they needed.

The late touchdown was one of four promising drives in the second half, but the team managed just a trio of field goals from the first three drives. The Broncos opened the third quarter with a pair of drives to get inside Oakland's 10-yard line, but a sack and a dropped touchdown on consecutive possessions forced the Broncos to settle for field goals.

Every time the Broncos got close, the Raiders had an answer. After the Broncos cut the lead to 14-6, Oakland put together a 60-yard drive to push the lead to 21-6. When Denver added another field goal with 8:39 to play in the fourth quarter, Oakland's Dwayne Harris returned the kickoff 72 yards to set up another Raiders score.

And then, on the Raiders' final drive of the game, Oakland got the first downs it needed.

The Broncos' trouble started early. The Raiders marched 72 yards on their opening drive and scored a touchdown. In the process, Oakland converted a pair of third downs and drained six minutes, eight seconds off the clock.

The Broncos' offense couldn't match the output as they went three-and-out on their opening drive and were pushed out of field-goal range after Flacco was strip-sacked early in the second quarter.

In his first start with the Broncos, Flacco finished 21-of-31 for 268 yards, a touchdown and 105.3 quarterback rating. Courtland Sutton and Emmanuel Sanders led the way for the receiving corps. Sutton finished with seven receptions for 120 yards, while Sanders caught five passes for 86 yards and a touchdown.

The Raiders added their second touchdown midway through the second quarter as they held the ball for eight minutes, 35 seconds. Aided by a 43-yard pass to Williams, Carr and the Raiders converted all four third-down attempts on the 95-yard drive.

Carr finished the first half 16-of-17 for 178 yards and a touchdown. He ended the game 22-of-26 for 259 yards and a touchdown.

The Broncos nearly got on the board as the first half closed, but a holding penalty made a field-goal attempt near impossible. Brandon McManus' last-second, 64-yard attempt was on target but fell short of the uprights.

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