Although the 2020 NFL season has come to a close for the Las Vegas Raiders, they were adamant about ending the year on a high note with a clutch victory over the Denver Broncos in Week 17.
The Broncos managed to take control early on by scoring 10 points on their first two drives thanks to the porous play of the Raiders defense. Their struggles were then magnified by a fumble from tight end Darren Waller that was recovered by the defense.
Fortunately, Las Vegas caught a break after Broncos kicker Brandon McManus missed a 56-yard attempt. The offense then responded with a five-play, 54-yard drive to tie the game at 10.
Las Vegas was finally able to get the ball rolling now that the momentum was on their side as quarterback Derek Carr found wide receiver Bryan Edwards in the end zone to take a 17-10 lead. Defensive end Maxx Crosby helped solidify this notion by blocking McManus’ 70-yard attempt just before halftime.
Any momentum that the Raiders had established in the first half was immediately dissipated once the third quarter began. This was due to the fact that they somehow committed three turnovers in a span of just five snaps.
An interception by Carr and fumble from wide receiver Henry Ruggs III allowed the Broncos to score 10 unanswered points to take a 24-17 lead. While the defense managed to hold after Carr’s second interception, the team now found themselves in a hole to close out the game.
The offense was finally able to get back on track thanks to a 26-yard touchdown run from Josh Jacobs. However, Denver was not ready to go away just yet and responded with a quick touchdown of their own due to the efforts of wide receiver Jerry Jeudy.
Following a punt, the Raiders stormed back with a seven-play, 77-yard drive that was capped by a 1-yard touchdown run from Jacobs. Head coach Join Gruden decided to go for the win and it paid off as Waller caught the two-point conversion to take a 32-31 lead.
The Broncos were in field goal position to end the game, but Crosby once again managed to block McManus’ 63-yard attempt to avoid a losing season for the Raiders.