Jimmy Garoppolo spoils Payton’s debut as Raiders’ win 7th straight over Broncos

Sep 10, 2023, 6:21 PM

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the Las Vegas Raiders celebrates with Davante Adams #17 of the Las Vegas Rai...

DENVER, COLORADO - SEPTEMBER 10: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the Las Vegas Raiders celebrates with Davante Adams #17 of the Las Vegas Raiders their team's 17-16 win against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field At Mile High on September 10, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Change the coaches and switch the quarterbacks, the Raiders still own the Broncos. Jimmy Garoppolo threw two touchdown passes to fellow newcomer Jakobi Meyers in their Las Vegas debut and the Raiders spoiled Sean Payton’s first game as Denver’s coach with a 17-16 win over the Broncos on Sunday.

“It ain’t got to be pretty, you’ve just got to get it done,” Davante Adams said as he walked off the field with Garoppolo after the Raiders stretched their winning streak over their AFC West rivals to seven games despite the absence of star pass rusher Chandler Jones, who’s involved in a feud with the front office.

That skid hurts even worse to some Broncos fans than the 15-game losing streak against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Kansas City has owned the AFC West for seven years while the Raiders and Broncos have spent that time taking turns as the dregs of the division.

Garoppolo, who came to Las Vegas after six seasons in San Francisco, and Meyers, who joined the Raiders after four seasons in New England, connected 10 times for 81 yards, including touchdowns of 3 and 6 yards.

The second, which erased Denver’s 16-10 lead with 6:34 remaining, followed an end zone interception by Broncos safety Kareem Jackson.

“ That’s Jimmy, he’s got great mental toughness. Love his grit. Love his toughness,” Raiders coach Josh McDaniels said.

After taking the lead, the Raiders held Denver to its only three-and-out and Garoppolo got the ball back with about five minutes left and never gave it back.

Jackson was whistled for a 15-yard penalty on the drive when he hit Meyers in the head with an elbow after a key catch, sending him to the sideline. That infraction helped the Raiders run out the clock.

“I thought we only had to make one more play than they did,” McDaniels said, “and that’s what we did.”

Payton returned to the sideline after a year’s sabbatical in the Fox broadcast booth in large part to revive Russell Wilson’s career after the quarterback’s worst season. Wilson looked much better than he did last year with Nathaniel Hackett at the helm, completing 27 of 34 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns without an interception.

Wilson only threw for 52 yards in the second half, however, after tight end Greg Dulcich (knee) left and the Raiders ramped up their pass rush.

Payton’s special teams were the biggest problem for Denver.

There was a costly hold that negated one return, a botched onside kick to open the game and two big misses from Wil Lutz, Payton’s reliable kicker in New Orleans whom he reacquired in a trade with the Saints last month.

“My job is to make points,” said Lutz, who was wide right on both the PAT and a 55-yard field goal attempt, “and to lose a game by one and I leave four points on the board, I didn’t do my job.”

“He’ll bounce back,” Payton said.

Lutz’s dismal day brought renewed scrutiny on Payton’s decision to jettison veteran kicker Brandon McManus last spring. McManus quickly signed with Jacksonville and was 5 for 5 on PATs and field goals Sunday in the Jaguars’ 31-21 win over the Colts.

Lutz was good from 24 yards out to push Denver’s lead to 16-10 midway through the fourth quarter. That capped a 16-play, 75-yard drive that followed Jackson’s end-zone interception off Alex Singleton’s tip.

“The pick was a terrible, stupid decision,” said Garoppolo, who completed 20 of 26 passes for 200 yards without a sack. “Just got to take the points there, throw it away when nothing’s there. But you know, I thought the mental toughness kicked in and guys stuck with it. They believed in me, so I appreciate them for that.”

Garoppolo rewarded that faith by driving the Raiders 75 yards in six plays with the payoff coming on Meyers’ 6-yard TD grab and Daniel Carlson’s PAT proved the final margin.

Thank you for reading Follow us on Twitter and Google News, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.


Las Vegas Raiders

Las Vegas Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers at the line of scrimmage during the fourth quarter at Acr...


Steelers, Raiders in similar positions entering Sunday night matchup

The similarities between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Las Vegas Raiders are numerous. Both teams are 1-1, but could just as easily be 0-2 given their subpar performances. Neither side has been able to run the ball, the quarterback play has been erratic, the offensive lines have been suspect and each defense has at times been […]

18 hours ago

Micah Hyde #23 of the Buffalo Bills tackles Josh Jacobs #8 of the Las Vegas Raiders during the four...

Brenden Nunes

Lincoln Kennedy thinks the Raiders should use more play-action

Former NFL player and current radio broadcaster Lincoln Kennedy explained how play-action can help the Las Vegas Raiders' run game.

2 days ago

Davante Adams #17 of the Las Vegas Raiders runs past Micah Hyde #23 of the Buffalo Bills on his way...

Joseph Jarosz

Davante Adams says hit that took him out of Bills game was ‘completely’ unnecessary

Las Vegas Raiders receiver Davante Adams discussed the hit that took him out of last Sunday's game, saying it was unnecessary.

2 days ago

Maxx Crosby #98 of the Las Vegas Raiders reacts during pregame against the Denver Broncos at Empowe...


Maxx Crosby facing more attention from opposing offenses with Chandler Jones out

Lost in the Chandler Jones situation is opponents have been able to pay even more attention than usual to Maxx Crosby.

2 days ago

Chandler Jones #55 of the Las Vegas Raiders sacks Davis Mills #10 of the Houston Texans in the seco...

Joseph Jarosz

Report: Raiders place Chandler Jones on non-football illness list

According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, the Raiders are placing Chandler Jones on the "non-football illness list and will be out indefinitely as he deals with a personal issue."

3 days ago

Hunter Renfrow #13 of the Las Vegas Raiders and teammates huddle in the tunnel prior to an NFL foot...

Joseph Jarosz

Raiders offensive coordinator says Hunter Renfrow ‘not deterred’

Through two games, Las Vegas Raiders receiver Hunter Renfrow has recorded one catch on one target, for 23 yards.

3 days ago

Jimmy Garoppolo spoils Payton’s debut as Raiders’ win 7th straight over Broncos