How the team performed in a 27-14 victory against the Broncos.
On a night Derek Carr was left without a touchdown pass, the Raiders relied on veteran running back Doug Martin to carry the offense. He rushed 21 times for 107 yards and a 24-yard touchdown, while Jalen Richard added a 3-yard scoring run, after which he jumped into the arms of Gorilla Rilla, a Black Hole staple who was wearing a Santa Claus coat. Carr completed 19-of-26 for 167 yards, his favorite target being wideout Jordy Nelson (seven catches for 75 yards). Carr also made a victory lap around the stadium following the win, perhaps the final time he will have played a game in Oakland.
Even with starting cornerbacks Gareon Conley and Daryl Worley out with injury, the Raiders limited Denver to two scores and got fourth-quarter interceptions from Erik Harris and Marcus Gilchrist. Karl Joseph had a terrific game and the safety looked like the player the Raiders chose in the first round of the 2016 draft, fishing with six tackles and a sack. Denver managed just 100 total yards rushing while quarterback Case Keenum was 23-of-37 for 202 yards with two scores and the two picks.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A
There might be better ways to start things off than returning a punt 99 yards for a touchdown, but it’s hard to think of many. Dwayne Harris sent the Monday Night Football crowd at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum into an early frenzy with his electric return. Also, rookie placekicker Daniel Carlson was good from 43 and 45 yards and is now 15-of-16 on field goals, a 93.75 percentage that keeps him on pace for the single-season franchise record.
Jon Gruden loves football. He loves the Coliseum nearly as much. You knew in a battle of teams not going anywhere and with only pride at stake, the coach would have his team ready for what could be the final game for the Raiders in Oakland. But he also challenged a fourth-quarter scoring play by Denver that can’t, by definition, be challenged. Gruden tried to make a point and lost a timeout in the process, not the first time it has occurred this season. It didn’t matter. In the end, he celebrated a victory, his team’s third in six games after beginning 1-8, with the Black Hole.
Ed Graney Review-Journal