OAKLAND, Calif. —** You can't hide from the television cameras.
On Sunday afternoon, Paxton Lynch could not hide his emotions after suffering a game-ending ankle injury in the Broncos' 21-14 loss to the Raiders, and the cameras caught it.
It's not hard to understand why Lynch was so affected by the personal outcome of this game. He spent months recovering from a nagging shoulder injury he suffered during the Broncos' third preseason game, and when he finally got his chance to start at quarterback, he had to leave the game he loves once again.
"I was just more frustrated with having another injury and having to come out of the game after I just recovered from one injury and the first game back, I hurt my ankle," Lynch said. "I was kind of upset that I didn't get to finish the game with my team."
During his first game back, Lynch completed 9-of-14 passing attempts for 41 yards and an interception. He also led the Broncos in rushing with two scrambles for 20 yards.
Lynch acknowledged that his performance wasn't perfect, but he added that he has hope that he'll have more success with more time working with the offense.
Photos of the Broncos' matchup with the Raiders in Oakland. (Photos by Gabriel Christus unless noted)
"There were some plays I thought I had an opportunity to make that I made, and there were also some plays that I just missed," Lynch said. "But this was the first week I had played with all these guys in a while, so it felt good to get out there and play with them. But obviously this isn't the result that we all wanted."
After Lynch exited the game, Trevor Siemian entered, hoping to spark something to get the Broncos back into the game. The team had struggled in the first three quarters, falling behind 21-0, but Denver still had a full quarter left to put things together.
That did not happen at first. Siemian's first two throws fell incomplete and a third went for one yard, leading to a punt after a three-and-out. But after that possession, Siemian marched the Broncos 93 yards to a touchdown. And after the Raiders missed a 35-yard field goal attempt, he led them on a 75-yard scoring drive to draw the Broncos within a touchdown.
"After that first series, I just said, 'I’m going to fire a bunch of completions in here and see what happens,'" Siemian said. "Guys made a bunch of plays, got a little momentum and you’re in two-minute mode, so you’re just firing away at that point."
As the clock wound down, the Broncos defense tried to hold Oakland's offense from moving the chains, but the Raiders got the big play they needed on third down with a 54-yard reception by Cordarelle Patterson. The Broncos were out of timeouts and Siemian did not get a chance to tie the game.
"We wanted the ball one more time," Siemian said. "It just makes you think [about] that first time we got it, [when] we went three-and-out, if we got it rolling then. It’s tough to live in a world of what-ifs, right? Just not enough."