Las Vegas could have made Sunday even worse on the Broncos.
The Raiders had a punt return for a touchdown from Hunter Renfrow called back for a blindside block penalty on Johnathan Abram. The block occurred about 10 yards away from the play and had no impact on the return.
Las Vegas also lost a possible touchdown when tight end Darren Waller dropped a probable touchdown when he was open down the sideline and simply dropped a pass from Derek Carr.
Those possessions turned into a field goal and a punt for the Raiders instead of two touchdowns in their 37-12 victory over Denver.
“We left some plays out there that our guys are capable of making,” Las Vegas coach Jon Gruden said. “We’ve got to raise the standards here.”
Denver also lost a touchdown to a penalty as Noah Fant was flagged for holding as Drew Lock scrambled for a negated score. The difference there was Fant’s illegal block directly opened Lock’s path to the end zone. Lock then threw an interception, as Denver missed a chance to take a lead before halftime.
“Obviously it’s a big swing there,” Broncos coach Vic Fangio said. “It was critical.”
Colorado Springs native on point for Raiders
Daniel Carlson atoned for a past mistake against his home-state team, nailing all four of his field-goal attempts Sunday — including a 52-yarder.
Carlson, a 2013 graduate of The Classical Academy in Colorado Springs, also made all four PAT tries. He is 9 for 10 against the Broncos on field goals and 10 for 10 on PATs.
His lone miss proved costly, however, as he misfired from 39 yards in the first quarter Dec. 29, 2019, in what turned into a 16-15 Broncos victory.
Carlson is the Raiders all-time career (84.8%) and single-season (94.1% in 2018) leader in field-goal percentage.
Former Bronco Booker runs for season-high yardage
Davontae Booker said the thrill he took from Sunday wasn’t so much beating his old teammates as it was having success running the ball late in the game even when the Broncos knew that’s what the Raiders were lining up to do.
Booker ran for a season-high 81 yards — his most in a game since Oct. 24, 2016, in his rookie season with Denver — and had his second two-touchdown game of his career.
Cut during an offseason that saw the Broncos sign running back Melvin Gordon, Booker has seen his production increase for four consecutive weeks for Las Vegas. He ran for 68 yards and a touchdown a week ago.
In his final two seasons in Denver, Booker ran for just 192 yards.
“It felt really good to go out there and beat these guys,” Booker said.
Network conflict with The Masters dodged
With no rain or playoff altering the schedule in Augusta, Ga., television networks avoided the need to improvise coverage of the final round of The Masters.
The tournament — typically held in April — aired on CBS, the same network that showed the Broncos at 2:05 p.m. Had golf run late for any reason, the plan was to shift coverage to ABC to keep audiences from missing the start of the Broncos and other football games that aired in that time slot.
“We do have quite a bit of pad in between the final putt and when NFL football starts,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said earlier this week on a conference call, according to the New York Post. “But we’ll be ready and we’ll work with our partners as we always do and figure it out.”
Dustin Johnson sank the final putt at 12:51 p.m. MT for a five-stroke victory, wiping out any concern of a time conflict.