61 degrees and partly cloudy & light, constant rain
- Play Calling: The Broncos had questionable play calling from the very beginning. The Broncos faced 3rd and 5 on their first drive and rather than throw a pass to the sticks, the Broncos asked QB Paxton Lynch to throw a shot down the sideline. Oakland’s secondary has not played well, but that is a low percentage pass for a rookie quarterback that they needed to get into a rhythm.
- The call of the game was the decision to have QB Derek Carr throw on 3rd & 8 on the Raiders last possession of the game. The Broncos had stuffed two run plays and used two remaining timeouts to force a third and long situation. Rather than run to take time off the clock before the two minute warning, Derek Carr found WR Cordarrelle Patterson for a 54-yard completion that sealed the game for the Broncos who were unable to stop the clock. An incomplete pass would have stopped the clock and forced the Raiders to punt and give the Broncos the ball back with likely favorable field position.
- Personnel Utilization: Denver does not have many explosive players on offense, but their QB issues prevent them from getting the ball to their playmakers. They need to decide on who will be their lead running back in the backfield. RB Devontae Booker was out for the first two series before the Broncos got him in the game in the third series. He instantly made an impact as he caught a wheel route that had the Broncos at the goalline. We don’t understand why Booker who had a strong performance the week before did not find his way onto the field earlier.
- Game Plan: Both Denver and Oakland replaced a coordinator this week. Denver replaced their offensive coordinator while Oakland replaced their defensive coordinator. The Broncos started a young quarterback, Paxton Lynch, who has not started a game this year.
- The Raiders offense wore down a tiring Broncos defense. RB Marshawn Lynch didn’t rack up huge stats, but he did have 29 touches (26 rushes, 3 catches). His hard running style wore out the Broncos.
- In-Game Adjustment: Denver started to throw on Oakland’s secondary once the Broncos made a change at QB due to injury. Even though the new Broncos QB Trevor Siemian struggled, his wideouts made plays that led to scores.
- The Oakland offense stagnated late in the third quarter and into the fourth quarter.
- Clock Management: Oakland used a timeout at 2:31 in the second quarter after a sack of Lynch on third down to give themselves an opportunity to add to their lead. Oakland however didn’t capitalize on having the ball towards the end of the half and had to punt.
- In the third quarter, Denver challenged a ruling on the field of a WR Emmanuel Sanders catch at their own 23 that they believed was a first down. The call was upheld and it cost the Broncos a timeout. They could have used the timeout at the end of the game when the game was still in doubt. Vance Joseph didn’t use a challenge on a Cordralle Patterson catch that
- What We Didn’t Like: Oakland controlled most of the game. However let Denver back into the game during the fourth quarter. Losing a game in the final minutes is what Raiders defensive coordinator John Pagano was known for as a Chargers defensive coordinator.
- Also, Denver attempted an onside kick after scoring their first touchdown to make it 21-7 with 10:18 remaining in the 4th quarter. This was too early to attempt an onside kick. The Raiders missed a field goal in the next possession and Denver scored immediately after to make it a 21-14 game.