In a huge AFC West matchup, the Oakland Raiders hit the road for the second week in a row, heading to Denver to take on the Broncos.
For the first quarter of the game, the Denver Broncos dominated the Oakland Raiders on both sides of the ball. A beautiful A.J. Derby touchdown catch from Trevor Siemian put the team up 7-0, and a Brandon McManus field goal made it 10-0. Then, Derek Carr struck with a big play of his own, hitting Johnny Holton for 64 yards to cut the lead to three, which would be the score at the half.
In the second half, the wheels fell off for the Raiders, as Derek Carr went down with a back injury. Oakland was forced to turn to E.J. Manuel, and while he played well late, he was unable to bring the team all the way back. Down 16-10 with under two minutes left, Manuel tried to hit Amari Cooper for a big gainer down the left side, but it was intercepted by Justin Simmons, sealing the victory for the Broncos.
The win is a huge one for the Broncos, as many expect the AFC West to be a tight division in 2017. The Raiders have not looked good the last two weeks, and there is no answer as to when Derek Carr will be back. For now, the Broncos look to be the second-best team in the division behind the Kansas City Chiefs.
1. Denver Defense
The Broncos defense was the difference in this one, as Von Miller and company kept the pressure on the Raiders all game long. The big play of the game came late by Justin Simmons, who showed an incredible vertical in going up and getting the game-clinching interception. It was a nice bounceback for a defense that showed some holes against Buffalo last weekend.
2. Khalil Mack, Oakland Raiders
The Mack Attack was on display on Sunday, but he could not do enough to get his team in the win column. Mack had seven tackles in the game, racked up two sacks, and had a huge forced fumble in the second half. He showed why he is considered by many as the best defensive player in the AFC.
3. Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos
Trevor Siemian had to earn the Broncos starting job once again this past Summer, and he showed on Sunday why the team continues to go with him. Siemian did not get rattled under pressure by the Oakland defense, and connected on a handful of huge third downs throughout the game. He is developing into a solid NFL quarterback, and seems to get better each game.
The Oakland Raiders were road dogs in this one, and rightfully so, as the Broncos can be very tough at Mile High. The spread was set at three points, and while they had a chance to win the game late, they did not cover. The over/under was set at 46.0, and these two defenses made sure it stayed under. Remember to head over to Sportsbook Review for all of your betting needs throughout the NFL season.
The Oakland Raiders will head home in Week 5, as they welcome the Baltimore Ravens to O.co Stadium. On the flip side, the Denver Broncos will get the week off, as their bye week is slated for Week 5. They will resume their schedule in Week 6 against the New York Giants at home.