Broncos swarm Raiders to bounce back in tight AFC West race


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Check out the top moments that helped define the outcomes of Sunday’s NFL matchups.
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DENVER – The Oakland Raiders lost quarterback Derek Carr to a back injury late in the third quarter Sunday, and then they lost even more ground in the competitive AFC West with a 16-10 loss to the Denver Broncos.

The Raiders have now dropped two consecutive road games and fall to third place behind the 3-0 Kansas City Chiefs, who host the Washington Redskins on Monday, and the 3-1 Broncos.

The Raiders were trailing 16-7 when Carr was injured in what was another ugly offensive performance for Oakland. The Raiders’ lone touchdown came on a 64-yard touchdown from Carr to receiver Johnny Holton. Backup EJ Manuel led a field goal drive to cut Denver’s lead to six points with 5:23 remaining, but Broncos safety Justin Simmons’ interception with 1:46 remaining ended Oakland’s rally.

 

While Denver’s offense was again uninspiring – its only touchdown, a 22-yard pass from Trevor Siemian to tight end A.J. Derby came on the first drive of the game  – the defense put together yet another impressive performance in holding the Raiders to just 24 rushing yards.

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch had just 12 rushing yards on nine carries in a shutdown performance that has become standard for Denver’s defense. The Broncos have held each of their first four opponents to fewer than 75 rushing yards.

That’s a significant change from last year, when the Raiders rushed for 218 yards against Denver in a 30-20 Raiders win in Oakland.

The Broncos’ offseason plan was as much a response to that game as anything, with general manager John Elway signing a trio of defensive tackles, Domata Peko, Zach Kerr and Shelby Harris, in free agency. It was Harris, a former Raider who spent part of last season on the Cowboys’ practice squad, who made the initial hit on Carr that knocked the Raiders’ quarterback from the game.

Carr landed awkwardly as Broncos’ defensive end Adam Gotsis wrung an arm around the quarterback’s neck.

The Raiders were poised to win the AFC West last season before Carr suffered a broken leg in Week 16. Oakland lost the season finale and then fell in the wild-card round without him.

Follow Lindsay H. Jones on Twitter @bylindsayhjones.

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