Derek Carr stepped in at a critical moment after Russell Wilson avoided the slide that would have made his counterpart’s heroics so much more difficult.
Carr hit a wide-open Davante Adams with a 35-yard touchdown pass on the third play of overtime, powering the Las Vegas Raiders to a 22-16 win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
“I’ve always loved those moments. It’s what I dreamed of as a kid,” Carr said after leading the Raiders (3-7) to their first win in seven scoring games this season.
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The Broncos (3-7) found another way to lose a close game, giving up their sixth game by one score when Wilson left too much time on the clock at the end of regulation.
Denver was clinging to a 16-13 lead at the 2-minute warning when Wilson rolled a right on third-and-10 of his own 34, and instead of sliding to burn more time, he got stopped and shot out of bounds.
“We called a pass play to try and finish the game here,” Wilson said. “We get a first down, the game is over. They covered it pretty well, I was trying to get out of the pocket and then (Jalen) Virgil was rushing in. I thought I had it, I tried to shoot him and the bullet just went.
“But we have the best defense in the world and unfortunately it didn’t work out this time.”
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Wilson’s misfires stopped the clock and the Raiders, who had run out of timeouts and hadn’t led all afternoon, won the ball with 1:43 left instead of about a minute .
Carr led them for 71 yards, hitting running back Josh Jacobs for 43 yards at the Denver 7 to set up Daniel Carlson’s game-tying kick with 16 seconds left in regulation.
The Raiders won the toss in overtime and Brandon McManus kicked it to the 5-yard line instead of exploding the ball in the back of the end zone. Ameer Abdullah made it 28 yards at the Las Vegas 33.
After Jacobs lost a yard, Carr hit tight end Foster Moreau for 33 yards in the middle of the Denver 35. From there, Adams confused the Denver defense and was all on his own for the game winner, which gave him gave 141 yards and two touchdowns on seven catches. Carr was 23 of 37 for 307 yards.
“Learn from this game and learn from my mistakes,” Broncos star cornerback Pat Surtain II said after turning on the final play and also giving up a 31-yard reception against Adams in the first half. .
McManus’ 48-yard field goal gave the Broncos a 16-13 lead with 3:30 left in the fourth quarter. Denver’s defense forced the Raiders into a three-and-out, but Wilson couldn’t waste enough time before the Raiders got the ball back.
Broncos first-year coach Nathaniel Hackett handed over his offensive calling duties to Klint Kubiak, his QB coach and passing game coordinator, saying, “I want to do whatever I can to help this team. .”
The move paid off immediately when the Broncos scored a touchdown on their first drive for the first time under Wilson, whose 32-yard throw to Kendall Hinton set up Latavius’ 1-yard TD run Murray.
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After that, the game settled into the grind-it-out defensive affair expected of two teams who were riddled with injuries and ineffective attacking play.
“Everyone’s stomach hurts week after week,” Broncos linebacker Alex Singleton said after the Broncos lost another lead, this time 10-0. “We know what we have to do. We have to find a way.”
Maxx Crosby was huge in the closing seconds of the first half, preventing a touchdown and then a field goal as the Raiders held off the Broncos and held their halftime deficit to 10-7.
Crosby knocked the ball off the arms of running back Melvin Gordon at 1. Although guard Quinn Meinerz recovered for Denver at 7, Crosby blocked McManus’ 25-yard field goal try late in the first half. time.
It was Crosby’s third career blocked field goal, and all three have been against the Broncos. He had two against Denver on January 3, 2021.
“If you don’t block that basket, we have to score a touchdown at the end of regulation, so I thought that was a massive play,” Raiders coach Josh McDaniels said. “I think it definitely gave us a little boost there.”
Crosby had two sacks in the second half, giving him nine of Las Vegas’ 14 sacks this season.
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In the first quarter, Carlson’s 48-yard try sailed right for his first missed field goal since Nov. 7, 2021, against the Giants in the Meadowlands.