Raiders @ Broncos
Final Score: Raiders 34, Broncos 24
Writer: Justin Herrera (@Semtexmex93 on Twitter)
The Las Vegas Raiders visited the Denver Broncos in a crucial AFC West showdown. This was an interesting game as we got to see the Raiders post-JonGrudenand we also got to see who would be atop the AFC West after this game. The game was really one-sided and unlike what most expected as the Raiders took control and didn’t let up on the reigns. The Broncos did have a chance to get back in the game but Teddy Bridgewater tried to do too much for the second straight week. The Game result was Las Vegas Raiders 34, Denver Broncos 24.
Las Vegas Raiders
Derek Carr: 18/27, 341, 2 TD | 2 carries, -1 yard
Derek Carr to Henry Ruggs 🚀
— The League Winners (@FFLeagueWinners) October 17, 2021
Derek Carr made a statement in this game, showing that he and the Raiders are going to be a force in the NFL even without their head coach. Carr made an impact on the first drive going deep for a 48-yard touchdown to Henry Ruggs, throwing it right over the heads of the two-deep defenders and into the hands of his receiver. On the very next drive, Carr got it moving again, catching Hunter Renfrow on a crossing route that picked up 25 yards and set up a Raider field goal. The Raiders had a missed field goal and a couple of punts before Carr sent them into the locker room with a 17-7 lead. Leading a drive that heavily involved Darren Waller and Kenyan Drake, with Waller grabbing two receptions for 43 and culminating in Drake reeling in a 15-yard pass and taking it for a 31-yard touchdown.
On the first play of the second drive in the third quarter, Carr fumbled the ball off a swing guard’s arm. This would be the worst thing about this half. Two plays later, Carr bombed a 40-yard pass to Ruggs and set up a Josh Jacobs touchdown run. After a Broncos touchdown, the Raiders needed to respond, and on third and five, he threw an ok looking ball to Bryan Edwards, which was reeled in with one hand and taken for 51 yards. This led to a Raider field goal and the nail in the coffin for the Broncos.
This was a strong statement game for Carr, who needed to rebound after a couple not so great weeks and losing his head coach. Going forward, I think this offense looks good and this defense is gritty enough to keep them in games. Fantasy-wise, Carr is still a high-end QB2 and a good bye week/matchup dependent QB1.
Josh Jacobs: 16 carries, 53 yards, TD | 1 target, 1 reception, 29 yards
Kenyan Drake: 4 carries, 34 yards, TD | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 39 yards, TD
Kenyan Drake scores his second TD of the game! #RaiderNation
— NFL (@NFL) October 17, 2021
Josh Jacobs had a decent game on Sunday Though he wasn’t anything special on the ground, he did have a really awesome screen pass that went for 29 yards while adding a three-yard touchdown later in the game. Overall, I hope they can get Jacobs more involved in the receiving game, as he’s by far their best asset on offense when he’s healthy. Kenyan Drake made an impact today with a near untouched 18-yard rushing touchdown and a very nice 31-yard receiving touchdown. He was dynamic when used and finally paid dividends in fantasy this week. I look for this team to make the most out of Drake’s snaps going forward. He does deserve a role on this team and should be a threat in PPR leagues going forward.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Henry Ruggs: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 97 yards, TD
Bryan Edwards: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 67 yards
Darren Waller: 5 targets, 5 receptions, 59 yards
Hunter Renfrow: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 36 yards
Foster Moreau: 1 target, 1 reception, 11 yards
Jalen Richard: 1 target, 1 reception, 3 yards
GET BRYAN EDWARDS THE DAMN BALLpic.twitter.com/BoYbtmDguR
— Kev Mahserejian (@RotoSurgeon) October 17, 2021
Henry Ruggs is really coming into his own this season, catching two 40+ yarders that got him a TD and he even helped get Josh Jacobs into the endzone. This game made it very apparent that the Raiders are going to use Ruggs as nothing more than a deep threat. Guess what though, if it’s anything like today, I’ll gladly take him as my flex play every week.
Bryan Edwards is another deep-threat beast, but this is a guy I want to see in the slot running shorter routes and getting more targets. Edwards only garnered four targets today, but came through in a big way on third and five in a crucial series, he reeled in a pass with one hand and took it for another 30+ yards. He is an absolute animal when he gets the ball. I won’t be starting him in fantasy until we see more of what can do on a consistent basis.
Darren Waller continues to be consistent but not consistently great. This game for him is summed up by the drive at the end of the half where he caught two passes for 43 of his 59 total yards. He did have three more catches for 16 yards, but he’s been missing out on his normal work rate ever since Ruggs has emerged as a legit WR1 for the Raiders.
Hunter Renfrow really just wasn’t needed in this game. The Raiders had this game in control and were imposing their will on the Broncos. Renfrow did have a nice 25-yard crossing route that set up a Vegas field goal. Going forward, Renfrow’s production will be based on his teammates. He’s number 3-4 in this offense so at least two other guys have to be not producing for him to have a significant role.
Teddy Bridgewater: 35/49, 334 yards, 3 TD, 3 INT, Fumble | 2 carries, 9 yards
Teddy Bridgewater had a very up and down game. He was pressured heavily in this game with the Raiders getting 17 QB hits on Bridgewater. The Raiders recorded five sacks on the day, and three of them were compliments of “Mad” Maxx Crosby. This pressure lead to Bridgewater having a four-turnover game (three interceptions and one fumble). So let’s dive into Bridgewater’s day. He started off the game on the right foot, connecting on a 14-yard pass to Courtland Sutton and finishing the drive with an 11-yard dig that got extended to a 23-yard touchdown for Tim Patrick. The next drive was a down for Bridgewater as he overthrew Eric Saubert and got picked off by Brandon Facyson. After this turnover, the Broncos went four drives without scoring or getting into scoring position.
In the third quarter, the Raiders seemed to ease up on defense and Bridgewater took advantage, hitting both Noah Fant and Sutton for 14 yards pick-ups. These plays and a 30 yard run by Javonte Williams set up a field goal for the Broncos. On the very next drive, Bridgewater fumbled the ball when getting tackled by Solomon Thomas, leading to a Raider touchdown and just about put the last nail in the coffin. Still alive though, Bridgewater started the fourth quarter off with a bang, exploiting the soft secondary with a 23-yard crosser to Fant. Bridgewater caught a break on a 13 yarder to Kendall Hinton (which could’ve been a wrestled away pick), while finishing it up with a hard-fought 12-yard touchdown for Sutton. After a field goal by the Raiders, the Broncos took the ball with a sense of urgency. Bridgewater was trying to stretch the field and overshot his target, leading to his second interception of the game. With the game 95 percent locked up, Bridgewater went to work and got some garbage time yards and a touchdown to Fant. The Broncos got the ball back after an onside kick recovery and on 4th and 10 Bridgewater gave it away for the third time.
This game was a rough outing for the usually consistent Bridgewater. The Broncos brought him in to be the opposite of Drew Lock, but today he looked like a mirror image of the turnover machine. Going forward I’m worried about the Broncos’ offensive line, as they need to keep Bridgewater upright if they are going to win games. As far as fantasy outlook, Bridgewater was alright today, but he’s still not going to be a QB1 for your teams, even with these new weapons.
BRYCE PERKINS ON 4TH DOWN! pic.twitter.com/5wqihg5oDb
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) August 22, 2021
Javonte Williams: 11 carries, 53 yards | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 15 yards
Melvin Gordon: 10 carries, 50 yards | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 23 yards
Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon have been splitting the workload right down the middle. Williams has been the more explosive of the two, getting to the outside for a nice 30-yard run that ended with an awesome hurdle of a defender. While Williams had the best play of the day between the two, he also accumulated 41 yards on two carries, leaving him with nine carries for 12 yards. He also had a 10-yard reception and a 12 yarder that was overturned on a blocking penalty. Gordon on the other hand was very consistent on each carry, averaging 5 yards per carry with his longest run being 10 yards. Unfortunately, this committee is frustrating to figure out and should be played only in desperate situations.
Javonte Williams with a Mile High Hurdle. #BroncosCountry
— NFL (@NFL) October 17, 2021
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Noah Fant: 11 targets, 9 receptions, 97 yards, TD
Courtland Sutton: 14 targets, 8 receptions, 94 yards, TD
Tim Patrick: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 42 yards, TD
Kendall Hinton: 5 targets, 5 receptions, 37 yards
Eric Saubert: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 23 yards
Noah Fant was a recipient of garbage time points in this game as he accumulated 84 yards and a TD on five receptions. Fant was often wide open due to the defense playing a good lead throughout the second half of the game. Fant was particularly good when running the crossing route, catching two 26 yarders on said route. Overall, Fant hasn’t been nearly the tight end we had hoped he’d be but on Sunday he proved he’s very capable of big things in the NFL and fantasy football.
Courtland Sutton was the prominent possession receiver for the Broncos in this game. He started it out on the first drive with a 14-yard catch. This would be the start of an excellent day for the wide receiver, as he too would have a tremendous second half of six catches for 68 yards and a well-deserved touchdown. One thing to note is that Sutton and Bridgewater were not connecting on deep passes, something for them to work on in practice. Sutton has back-to-back WR1 weeks in fantasy, and with Jerry Jeudy coming back soon it’s going to be interesting to see what his role will be going forward.
Tim Patrick scored first for the Broncos taking a short in route and turning it into a 23-yard touchdown. Patrick was relatively quiet after this, he did make a 12-yard catch in garbage time but ran into the sideline bench and didn’t come back to the game. We’ll have to monitor the injury going forward because his absence might give Kendall Hinton a chance at some extra work. Hinton collected each one of his five targets, if Patrick is out for any amount of time Hinton becomes a solid flex play. Eric Saubert had one memorable play and it was forcing Bryan Edwards to lose the onside kick and gave the Broncos and shot to score.
Courtland Sutton narrows the gap in Denver. #BroncosCountry
— NFL (@NFL) October 17, 2021
— Justin Herrera (@Semtexmex93 on Twitter)