Denver had a complete meltdown in the second half. The Broncos stifling defense smothered the Raiders in the first two quarters only to lose the game in the second half. The Raiders had -12 yards at halftime and looked horrible on the offensive side of the ball. But football is a tale of two halves. The Raiders made adjustments and came out fresh leaving Denver to its own implosion. Let’s look at how the Broncos blew a 12 point lead at halftime to lose by 3 points. Raiders 15 – Broncos 12
What happened to the Broncos offense? For the past few weeks the Broncos offense looked unstoppable with wins over the Patriots, Packers and Chiefs. If you look at the numbers it will show how dominant the offense moved the ball against the Raiders in the first half. They led in every offensive category across the board from passing 1st downs to rushing 1st downs. The Broncos total yardage was 310 to the Raiders 156. Broncos QB Brock Osweiler passed for 276 yards to Carr’s 99. So how did they loses this one?
Turnovers is the answer. They gave the ball away twice in crucial moments of the game. Demaryius Thomas dropped passes that he would normally take 20 to 30 yards easily. The running game was stagnant from the jump so they pretty much abandoned it with 34 yards on the ground. Khalil Mack sacked Brock Osweiler five times and kept him out of rhythm the entire game.
The defense held Derek Carr to 12-29, 135 yards and two touchdowns. The pass rush that the Broncos have been known for disappeared in the 3rd and 4th quarters. The defense held the Raiders rushing attack to 27 yards which averaged out to 1.2 yards a carry. That’s awesome for a D-line that is missing DeMarcus Ware.
Next week the Broncos travels to Pittsburgh and take on Big Ben and the Steelers. I’m sure the defense will get back on track. It was hard watching the best defense in the NFL look like a Division 3 college.