DENVER (AP/CBS13) — A late Derek Carr rally lifted the Las Vegas Raiders over the Denver Broncos in Sunday’s season finale.
Darren Waller caught Carr’s 2-point conversion pass with 24 seconds left Sunday to beat the Broncos 32-31 despite committing four turnovers.
And one incredibly clutch 2-point conversion. pic.twitter.com/MhlwPU96nt
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) January 4, 2021
The Broncos (5-11) reached the Las Vegas 45-yard line with 9 seconds left and Brandon McManus’ 63-yard field-goal try was blocked by Maxx Crosby, who also blocked McManus’ record 70-yard attempt on the last play of the first half.
Josh Jacobs’ 1-yard TD run capped a seven play, 77-yard drive for the Raiders (8-8), who snapped a nine-game losing streak in season finales, and for the second straight year, Jon Gruden went for 2 and the win instead of a tie.
Last year, Shelby Harris’ batted-down pass preserved Denver’s 16-15 win, but Harris wasn’t here this time, having gone on IR last week with a knee injury.
After the game, there was a brief scuffle near the Broncos sideline that quickly broke up.
Rookie Jerry Jeudy bounced back from a five-drop performance last week with a tiebreaking 92-yard touchdown catch from Drew Lock with 6:29 remaining to put the Broncos ahead 31-24.
It came a week after he dropped five passes, including one in the end zone and another that might have gone for the game-winning TD in the closing minute of Denver’s loss to the Chargers.
Denver, which entered the day with just a dozen takeaways, forced four turnovers, including three in a five-snap span in the second half, helping them overcome a 17-10 halftime deficit.
The Broncos, whose minus-16 turnover differential this season was by far the NFL’s worst, got their first takeaway in a month when rookie cornerback Michael Ojemudia forced his third fumble of the season, punching the ball out of Waller’s arms.
Kareem Jackson recovered for Denver at the Las Vegas 39, but the Broncos gained just 2 yards and sent McManus out for a 56-yard field goal, which sailed wide left.
Carr capitalized on McManus’ miss by hitting Waller with a 28-yard touchdown pass over safety Will Parks, tying the game at 10.
Broncos coach Vic Fangio went for it on fourth-and-1 on Denver’s next drive rather than send McManus out for a 57-yard try, but Lamarcus Joyner broke up Carr’s pass to Tyree Cleveland.
With 3 seconds left in the half, McManus attempted an NFL record 70-yarder, but the low kick was blocked by Crosby.
McManus kicked a 22-yarder when the Broncos’ opening drive stalled at the Las Vegas 4, leaving Denver without a touchdown on its 16 opening drives this season. The Raiders responded with Daniel Carlson’s 33-yarder.
Carlson also made history by passing Raiders’ legend Sebastian Janikowski to claim the single-season scoring record.
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) January 3, 2021
Lock put Denver ahead 10-3 with a 1-yard TD toss to tight end Troy Fumagalli.