When Case Keenum arrived in Denver in March, he said he was ready to make some new memories. He did that on Sunday afternoon against the Raiders. Down two points with 1:58 remaining, Keenum made several big throws to guide the Broncos down the field for a game-winning field goal attempt. A 21-yard completion to Emmanuel Sanders on second-and-20 in the shadow of their own goal line helped the cause. He then found Jake Butt for 14 yards. But it was a short throw to Tim Patrick that resulted in a 26-yard catch-and-run that made the difference. Patrick made it all the way to the Oakland 18-yard line, which is where Brandon McManus nailed a 36-yard field goal to win the game. If Keenum wanted memories, he got one Sunday. Anyone ready for more?
The game wasn’t decided until a few minutes later, but Case Keenum showed off his wheels with 5:58 to play in the fourth quarter. Facing fourth-and-1, the Broncos spread the offense out and left Keenum alone in the backfield. Denver’s quarterback took the snap in the shotgun, hesitated for a moment and then burst forward and dove into the end zone. Keenum didn’t throw for a touchdown on Sunday afternoon, but he found another way to contribute as he did it with his legs.
A week after Emmanuel Sanders caught 10 passes for 135 yards, he compiled another strong performance. The former Pro Bowler only caught four passes, but they went for 96 yards and were often momentum-swinging plays. Denver’s offense, which struggled in the first half, got going after the break, and Sanders played a major part.
Rookie running back Phillip Lindsay also turned in a strong showing. Lindsay built off his Week 1 performance with a 14-carry, 107-yard game in Week 2. His biggest play came on a 53-yard scamper in the first half, but his most important plays may have come in the second half when he picked up crucial yards as the Broncos tried to work their way back from a 12-point deficit.
The Broncos’ defense earns a collective nod for the way it bottled up Marshawn Lynch, who rushed for 65 yards but had a long of just 11 yards. Denver’s run defense never let “Beast Mode” break out, and it helped them win the game.
And who could leave out Tim Patrick, whose one catch of the day may have been the most important of the Broncos’ young season.
The Broncos struggled drastically in the first half as the Raiders out-gained them, earned more first downs and dominated time of possession. And, most importantly, the Raiders headed into the locker room at the break with a 12-0 lead. That all changed after halftime. The Broncos found ways to move the ball on the ground and through the air as they outscored the Raiders 20-7 to cap a double-digit comeback. The defense allowed one long touchdown drive in the second half, but the unit otherwise kept Oakland from scoring. That proved critical as the Broncos moved to 2-0 with a one-point win.