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Week 2 Game Recap: Oakland Raiders 19, Denver Broncos 20


What you need to know

Oakland Raiders

-Derek Carr was extremely accurate, completing 91% of his passes.

-The pass protection held up better than expected against a tough Denver defensive line.

-With the Raiders leading the entire game, Marshawn Lynch was a workhorse and totaled 20 touches.

-Amari Cooper had a big-time performance and for the first time in a while looked like a bona fide WR1.

Denver Broncos

Broncos tackle Jared Veldheer left in the 2nd half with a concussion. Brandon McManus was a perfect 2 of 2 on field goals and extra points. Phillip Lindsay again led the backfield, and Emmanuel Sanders was the most valuable receiver and Case Keenum's clear #1.

Oakland Raiders

QB Derek Carr, 65 offensive snaps, Pass: 29 - 32 - 288 - 1 TD / 0 INT
It was an historically efficient day for Carr, who was the first quarterback in NFL history with 30+ attempts to complete 90% of his passes. He was incredibly accurate all day and in command of the offense. However, the efficiency numbers are misleading in terms of actual impact. Many of the completions came on quick, short passes and there were multiple 3rd-down completions short of the sticks. In fact, the Raiders converted just 3-of-10 third downs, which largely explains how Oakland could score just 19 points despite Carr completing 91% of his passes. Two of the three 3rd-down conversions did come on very well thrown passes to Amari Cooper and the duos much-improved chemistry was the biggest positive takeaway from the game for the Raiders. Carr got away with a big mistake early. He held the ball far too long, allowing Von Miller to strip the ball. The Broncos recovered but the play was wiped out by a defensive holding call. Carrís lone touchdown pass of the day came on a 20-yard strike to Seth Roberts. He drilled it in with some heat between the corner and the safety.

RB Marshawn Lynch, 41 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 65 - 1, Rec: 2 - 3 - 0 (2 targets)
With a more favorable game script, the Raiders were able to feed Lynch for four quarters. He touched the ball 20 times but wasnít efficient, averaging under 3.5 yards per touch. He started off the game strong, with a powerful 6-yard run on the first play of the game where he carried two defenders for a few extra yard. Later on the opening drive, he broke through a big hole on the right side before being tripped up after a 10-yard gain. If he could have broken the shoestring tackle, he would have galloped for a 43-yard touchdown. Lynch had a 31-yard run called back due a holding penalty on a receiver blocking downfield. It was his most impressive run of the day. He dodged a defender in the backfield and was able to get to the outside and stiff arm a defender to pick up extra yards. Both of Lynchís targets came inside the 10-yard line. He nearly scored on a 7-yard catch but came up a yard short. He was able to punch it in two plays later, leaping over the pile for his second touchdown of the season.

RB Doug Martin, 17 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 24 - 0, Rec: 1 - 0 - 0 (1 targets)
Martin was the clear #2 back but he didnít do much with his opportunities. His longest gain, a 6-yard run, came on a 3rd-and-9 draw. He had another 6-yard gain called back due to a penalty. So far this season, Martin has been getting what is there but nothing more.

RB Jalen Richard, 8 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 3 - 0
After playing half the snaps last week and leading the team in touches, Richard was an afterthought in Week 2. He touched it just twice and didnít have a catch. Chalk it up to game script. With the Raiders leading the entire game, Gruden stuck almost exclusively with the Lynch/Martin duo.

WR Amari Cooper, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 10 - 116 - 0 (10 targets)
After a quiet Week 1, Cooper got back on track and arguably had his most complete performance since 2016. He topped 100 receiving yards for the 12th time in his career, with 116 on the day and caught all 10 of his targets. The strong performance was especially notable because Cooper has always struggled against the Broncos, never topping 60 yards receiving in a game against his AFC West rivals prior to Sunday. Oaklandís game plan seem designed to build Cooperís confidence early with short passes to help him build a rhythm. His four first-half catches all came on either wide receiver screens or short comeback routes. Cooperís confidence was evident in the way he was attacking the ball with his hands and not letting it get into his body. The opening drive of the second half finally saw Carr take some deep shots to Cooper. The pair connected on a deep post route for 31 yards and then a couple plays later on an out route for 20 yards. Cooper had a sweet catch and run on a slant, grabbing the ball in traffic and then putting his hand on the ground and spinning out of a tackle to stay on his feet and pick up an extra five yards. Cooper had a long catch called back on a strange officiating decision when both Cooper and the cornerback covering him were called for offsetting pass interference penalties. Overall, it was a big-time performance for Cooper who looked like an elite WR1 for the first time in quite a while.

WR Martavis Bryant, 25 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 30 - 0 (4 targets)
Bryant operated as the fourth receiver. He showed his elite speed on a wide receiver screen for a gain of 22 yards on his first touch of the game. While Bryant didnít do anything spectacular, he had a solid debut performance that gives him something positive to build on moving forward.

WR Seth Roberts, 22 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 43 - 1 (3 targets)
Roberts operated as the third receiver and continues to be one of Carrís favorite targets in the red zone. He caught a 20-yard touchdown on a seam route over the middle. Roberts got inside leverage on the cornerback and Jared Cookís route held the safety just long enough to allow Carr to fire it in between the two defenders.

WR Jordy Nelson, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 30 - 0 (4 targets)
It was a second-straight quiet game for Nelson. He is playing plenty of snaps and remains entrenched as the #2 wide receiver but hasnít been a big part of the game plans yet. Nelson went low near the sideline to grab a 23-yard reception on the Raiders first pass of the game. He made a leaping catch on a poorly thrown screen pass from Carr that went for a short gain. Nelson was targeted in the end zone but the play was well covered and Carr played it safe by throwing it high and out of everyoneís reach.

TE Jared Cook, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 49 - 0 (4 targets)
Cook was only targeted four times (none in the final 20 minutes) but looked great again. He held on despite taking a big hit on a short catch just shy of the end zone early and also showed his toughness on a powerful catch and run to open the second half. The biggest difference in his game this season compared to last season is that he seems to be playing with more physicality now. While it was a relatively quiet game, expect Cook to remain one of the primary weapons for the Raiders going forward.


Denver Broncos

QB Case Keenum, 66 offensive snaps, Pass: 19 - 35 - 222 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 16 - 1
Keenum had a rough start against the Raiders, totaling just 38 yards passing in the first half. He couldn't get on the same page with his receivers, with Demaryius Thomas struggling with some drops. Keenum looked for Jake Butt up the seam for a touchdown in the second, but he under threw the ball a bit and a defender managed to high point the ball for an interception right on the goal line. Keenum came out in the second half slinging, and managed to find Emmanuel Sanders for a couple of big gains to get the offense moving. Keenum narrowly missed connecting with Courtland Sutton on a touchdown in 3rd, but the receiver couldn't get both feet down cleanly in the end zone. Keenum picked up a 1st down with his feet in the 4th quarter, rolling out left on 3rd and 3 for an 8 yard gain. Keenum punched the ball in himself late in the 4th quarter. On 4th down from the Raiders 2 yard line, Keenum took the snap from the shotgun in a 5WR set and charged forward into the end zone. Keenum and the offense got the ball back on their own 20 yard line with just over 2 minutes left in the game, down by 2 points. Keenum connected with Sanders and Heuerman twice, as well as Jake Butt to move the Broncos down the field. Keenum found Tim Patrick with less than 20 seconds remaining in the game, setting up the game winning field goal on 4th down. Keenum was only sacked once.

RB Phillip Lindsay, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 107 - 0, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (1 targets)
Lindsay dominated the backfield touches for the Broncos, totaling 15 to Freeman and Booker's combined 11. Lindsay followed fullback Janovich up the middle and broke loose up the right sideline in the second quarter, totaling 53 yards on the carry. Lindsay opened the second half up strong, rolling off tackles and breaking two solid gains off right tackle during the first drive of the 3rd quarter. Lindsay did lose some goal line work to Freeman, who punched in the Broncos first touchdown of the day. Lindsay got a carry inside the Raiders' 10 in the 4th quarter, but he was brought down just shy of the goal line. Case Keenum ran it in himself on the next play. Lindsay hauled in his only target of the day for a short gain.

RB Royce Freeman, 16 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 28 - 1 (1 targets)
Freeman got the start and the first carry for the Broncos, but he was quickly relieved by Phillip Lindsay, who proceeded to steal the show. Freeman did dominate the goal line work. His biggest gain was a 14 yard carry on a pitch to the left of the formation in the 3rd quarter. Freeman punched a touchdown in from the 1 yard line in the 3rd quarter, following fullback Janovich right up the middle in a goal line set. Freeman nearly scored a second touchdown with 7 minutes left in the 4th quarter, but he was knocked backwards while attempting to dive over the pile into the end zone. Freeman was out-touched 15-8 by Phillip Lindsay.

RB Devontae Booker, 22 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 17 - 0
Booker got some snaps in third down situations and worked as the back in the two minute offense at the end of the 1st half. He had three carries on the day with a long of 11 yards. He was not targeted in the passing game despite his third down work.

RB Andy Janovich, 11 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (1 targets)
Janovich performed his usual lead blocking duties and caught a check down pass in the 4th quarter for a gain of 11.

WR Demaryius Thomas, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 18 - 0 (11 targets)
Thomas dominated the target totals with 11, but he was completely ineffective with them. Thomas sniffed paydirt when he caught a slant route in the Raiders end zone in the 3rd quarter, but he was brought down at the 1 yard line. Thomas had a bad drop on an open curl route late in the third, then another brutal drop during the final two minute drill of the game. His completions were quick slants or bubble screens that just went no where. Thomas was targeted once down the right sideline on a deep ball in the 3rd, but Keenum overthrew him.

WR Emmanuel Sanders, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 96 - 0 (4 targets)
Sanders was quiet for the first half as QB Keenum struggled to get anything going in the passing game, but Sanders was a perfect 4 of 4 on his limited targets after half time. Courtland Sutton caught a curl route and successfully pitched the ball to Sanders on a hook and ladder play at the end of the first half, but Sanders was brought down without scoring as time expired. Keenum hit Sanders up the seam for a nice gain on the first play of the 3rd quarter. Later in the 3rd, Sanders lined up in the slot on the right side of the formation and got wide open up the seam again for another big gain. Sanders got close to the end zone in the 4th quarter, catching a slant route before going down inside the Raiders' 5 yard line. Sanders had another clutch catch for a 20 yard gain and a first down as the Broncos drove down the field for their game winning two-minute drill.

WR Courtland Sutton, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 9 - 0 (6 targets)
Sutton had a drop early in the 1st quarter on a quick slant route and also let a quick slant route clang off his open hands in the 2nd quarter. Sutton hauled in a pass at the very end of the second quarter and successfully executed a hook and ladder toss to Emmanuel Sanders, who was brought down as the clock expired on the first half. Sutton nearly had a huge gain on a diving catch down the left sideline, but he double-clutched the ball as he was sliding out of bounds, and the play was overturned. Sutton suffered another heartbreaker later in the 3rd as he made an amazing leaping catch over a defender in the end zone, but couldn't quite get both feet down inbounds. Denver challenged the ruling but lost the challenge.

WR Tim Patrick, 4 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 26 - 0 (2 targets)
Patrick made a fantastic catch on a back shoulder route in the corner of the end zone in the 3rd quarter to put the Broncos on the scoreboard, but the play was overturned after a challenge from the Raiders. He redeemed himself at the end of the game, catching a curl route and juking his defender for a big gain that set up the game winning field goal on the next play.

TE Jake Butt, 26 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 48 - 0 (6 targets)
Butt caught an out route for short gain on his first target in the 1st quarter. Keenum hit him again on a short crossing pattern that failed to convert third down at the end of the 1st. Keenum looked for him in the end zone in the 2nd quarter, but under threw the ball resulting in an interception right on the goal line. Butt hauled in a 22 yard seam route right up the middle of the field early in the 4th quarter. Butt hauled in one final catch during the last two minute drive of the game, moving the chains and helping to set Denver up for the game-winning field goal. Butt definitely looked like the preferred passing option in the tight end group. His 6 targets were the second most on the team this week. Jeff Heuerman was targeted twice but didn't do much with his catches.

TE Jeff Heuerman, 41 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 10 - 0 (3 targets)
Heuerman split reps at tight end with Butt, but functioned primarily as a blocker. He had one diving catch on a 4th quarter curl route from the left slot, and another short catch on an out route in the last 2 minutes drive of the game.