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Grading Raiders’ 34-24 win against Broncos

Updated October 17, 2021 - 6:15 pm

How the Raiders performed in a 34-24 win against the Broncos.

Offense: A

Offensive coordinator Greg Olson did a masterful job getting the likes of running back Kenyan Drake and wide receivers Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards involved in the attack. Drake was especially impressive in scoring twice. There is no question that Denver was at a disadvantage — not knowing the play-calling tendencies of Olson. That, plus the linebacker corps of the Broncos was severely beaten up. But the Raiders struck from every conceivable angle, with quarterback Derek Carr completing 18-of-27 for 341 yards with two scores. Ruggs led all receivers with three catches for 97 yards and a touchdown. The Raiders also snapped an 11-game streak in which they hadn’t scored on their first possession of a game.

Defense: A

Call it relentless pressure without much blitzing. The Raiders were all over Denver quarterback Teddy Bridgewater most of the day, led by one of the better efforts of Maxx Crosby’s young career. He finished with three sacks, six tackles and five quarterback hits. Quinton Jefferson added a sack, and Cory Littleton and Damion Square combined for another. Interceptions went to Johnathan Abram, Tre’von Moehrig and Brandon Facyson. In all, the Raiders has 17 quarterback hits. Solomon Thomas also forced a fumble of Bridgewater, which was recovered by Denzel Perryman.

Special teams: B-plus

Usually the most consistent part of the team, there was a little slippage. Daniel Carlson snapped a streak of 27 made field goals inside the 50 when he didn’t convert from 43. The kick coverage teams were fantastic. AJ Cole was his usual terrific self, averaging 57 yards on four punts with a long of 71.

Coaching: A-plus

In what had to be one of the more emotional weeks of his professional career, interim head coach Rich Bisaccia had the Raiders prepared and motivated despite such great distraction. He stayed out of his coordinators’ way — Olson on offense and Gus Bradley on defense — and allowed them to deftly handle their sides of the ball. Bisaccia looked very much the part of a leader.

—Ed Graney Las Vegas Review-Journal

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