Josh Jacobs rushed for 144 yards and two touchdowns, Amik Robertson returned a 68-yard fumble for a score and the Las Vegas Raiders won their first game of the season, 32-23 over the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
After opening their first season under coach Josh McDaniels by losing three straight with one touchdown, the Raiders (1-3) managed to do enough on the ground with their biggest running game in six years and on defense to hold off Russell Wilson and the Broncos (2-2).
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Maxx Crosby had two of Las Vegas’ three sacks, and Robertson had the game-changing play late in the first half when Denver repeatedly failed to take advantage of good field position.
After earning a 5-yard TD pass from Wilson to Courtland Sutton to cap a 34-yard drive in the first quarter, the Broncos capitalized on three more chances with prime field position on a field goal and Melvin’s fumble. Gordon III that Robertson returned. the landing
Wilson had his most efficient game of his short tenure in Denver, completing 17 of 25 passes for 237 yards and two TDs. He also ran for a 3-yard touchdown that cut the Raiders’ lead to 25-23 after completing a 55-yard pass to KJ Hamler.
Jacobs stopped him with a 7-yard TD run with 2:01 left. He became the first Raiders player to rush for at least 130 yards and two touchdowns in a game since Darren McFadden did it in 2011 against the Jets.
Derek Carr didn’t have to do much for the Raiders, completing 21 of 34 passes for 188 yards as Las Vegas got the running game going for the first time this season. Davante Adams had nine catches for 101 yards.
Jacobs scored on a 10-yard run in the second quarter and set up a third-quarter field goal with a 42-yard run that was the longest since his rookie season in 2019.
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The Raiders finished with 212 rushing yards for their most in a game since 218 against the Broncos in 2016.
The Raiders defense went into scoring mode for a change when Duron Harmon forced Gordon’s fumble and Robertson carried him into the end zone.
It was the first TD by the Raiders defense or special teams since Erik Harris made a pick-6 against the Chargers on Nov. 7, 2019. The 43 regular-season games without one was the second-longest in the era of the Super Bowl, behind only a 49-game streak by the Browns between 1979 and 1982.
It was the Raiders’ first fumble return for a TD since Keith McGill did it in the 2014 final against Denver.
NOT SO SPECIAL
Both teams had their special teams issues with Tyron Johnson missing a punt return that backed the Raiders up near their goal line in the first quarter.
Las Vegas also set up Denver with good field position when he missed a surprise onside kick.
Both teams also missed extra points in the second quarter with Daniel Carlson missing his first kick of any kind this season for the Raiders and Denver’s Brandon McManus missing his second in the past two seasons.
Broncos: S PJ Locke left the game with a concussion on the opening shot. … RB Javonte Williams left with a knee injury on the first play of the second half and didn’t return.
Raiders: LB Denzel Perryman left with a concussion in the first half.
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UNTIL NEXT TIME
Broncos: Host Indianapolis on Thursday night.
Raiders: Visit Kansas City on Monday, October 10.