This was the Broncos’ probability to place final 12 months behind them, to complete a come-from-behind win, to be led down the sphere by their new quarterback and to point out their Week 1 win over Seattle wasn’t a fluke.
Within the huddle, the offensive gamers have been assured after they returned to the sphere with 1:58 remaining Sunday towards Oakland trailing by 2 factors. No timeouts? Large deal. And one play into the drive, unhealthy discipline place (their very own 10-yard line)? No fear.
“We knew we have been going to win,” left deal with Garett Bolles mentioned. “That was simply our perspective.”
On the bench, the defensive gamers had a collective perception the 2018 Broncos on this scenario would fare in another way than the 2017 Broncos.
“You might belief them that they have been going to make the performs,” defensive finish Adam Gotsis mentioned.
Bolles’ perspective and Gotsis’ belief have been rewarded when the Broncos moved 62 yards on 10 performs to arrange Brandon McManus’ 36-yard discipline aim with six seconds left for a stirring 20-19 win over the Raiders.
The Broncos trailed 12-Zero at halftime and 19-7 late within the third quarter. Despite the fact that their offense was ignited after halftime, it appeared too little, too late till they neared midfield with 54 seconds remaining.
Quarterback Case Keenum transformed a third-and-Three with a four-yard move to tight finish Jeff Heuerman. Clock stopped at 26 seconds.
Two performs later, Keenum threw a four-yard move to receiver Tim Patrick. His first NFL reception full, Patrick then went to work. As a substitute of heading to the sideline, he turned up discipline, broke deal with makes an attempt by Gareon Conley and Leon Corridor to achieve 26 yards to the Raiders’ 18 with 10 seconds left.
McManus drilled the game-winning discipline aim on the following play.
“I knew he was going to make it,” coach Vance Joseph mentioned.
If this Broncos season turns into one thing cool, Joseph will be sure you bear in mind this comeback, which was solely the 10th in workforce historical past from at the least a 12-point deficit at halftime and the primary in six years.
The Broncos improved to 2-Zero for the sixth consecutive 12 months, the league’s longest present streak. They beat Oakland for the 11th time in 15 video games. They noticed one other monster efficiency from rookie operating again Phillip Lindsay (107 yards on 14 carries). They cracked however didn’t splinter aside defensively, forcing early discipline objectives and a punt with two minutes remaining. And Shaquil Barrett’s first-half blocked further level proved very important.
For thus lengthy, a constructive consequence seemed unlikely. The offense was that unhealthy within the first half. The protection was having that many issues accounting for receiver Amari Cooper and tight finish Jared Prepare dinner and at their collective wit’s finish towards throw-quickly quarterback Derek Carr, who accomplished 17 consecutive passes at one level.
“At halftime, it wasn’t good,” Joseph mentioned.
The top coach is being type. The offense was within the midst of a stinker. Their first half possessions have been punt, punt, punt, interception, punt and clock ran out. Enjoying within the hottest house sport in franchise historical past (92 levels), the Broncos have been melting.
What was good, although, was the locker room mindset. Gamers mentioned Joseph didn’t throw a match as a means of urging higher efficiency. Joseph is aware of his roster and, subsequently, knew a speech wasn’t wanted. As a substitute, the coaches and gamers used the 13 minutes to re-set the offensive sport plan (Joseph and play-caller Invoice Musgrave determined to be extra aggressive) and re-group their defensive wind (on the sphere for 20 minutes, 32 seconds).
“It was like some other halftime; the whole lot was typical and regular,” mentioned proper deal with Billy Turner, who changed Jared Veldheer (concussion). “We got here in and went by the changes and equipped for the second half.”
Stated Bolles: “We’re the kind of workforce that, after we’re down and issues aren’t going our means, it’s ‘Let’s repair it.’ That’s simply how we’re.”
The Broncos awoke after halftime, slicing the result in 12-7 on Royce Freeman’s 1-yard run. However the back-and-forth scoring did them no good — McManus’ 39-yard discipline aim answered Seth Roberts’ 20-yard landing catch. Keenum’s fourth-down landing dive lower Oakland’s result in 19-17 with 5:58 remaining.
Oakland made two first downs however punted it again to the Broncos. After a holding name on Bolles, Keenum and Co. went to work.
“The entire line simply performed their guts out and (we) bought some performs down the sphere,” Keenum mentioned. “It was enjoyable to observe.”
Keenum threw 21 yards to Emmanuel Sanders on second-and-20. Two performs later, he threw 14 yards to tight finish Jake Butt. Three performs later, 4 yards to Heuerman, who bought out of bounds. After which the move to Patrick. Solely then did a Broncos win appear real looking. On the win chance scale, it was most likely the primary time it inched above 50 %.
“The offense made it simpler for me (with) that final play,” McManus mentioned.
And, for at the least the following six days, life is somewhat simpler for the Broncos. They began 2-Zero and 3-1 final 12 months earlier than their season imploded.
“Final 12 months is final 12 months,” Joseph mentioned. “That’s over. This 12 months, our workforce is completely different.”