News & Analysis

NFL Week 17 PFF ReFocused: Las Vegas Raiders 32, Denver Broncos 31

Jan 3, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) throws a two point conversion pass in the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t pretty, but the Las Vegas Raiders overcame two Derek Carr interceptions and two additional fumbles from Henry Ruggs III and Darren Waller to beat the Denver Broncos on the road, 32-31.

Editor's note: All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle.

Story Of The Game

Carr led the Raiders on a seven-play, 77-yard scoring drive in the final two minutes of the game that was capped off by a Josh Jacobs 1-yard touchdown run and a Carr-Waller connection for the game-winning 2-point conversion.

The Raiders signal-caller completed 24-of-38 passes for 371 yards, two touchdowns and three turnover-worthy plays (including two picks). He should finish PFF’s grading reviews with a 65.0-plus PFF passing grade due in large part to his four big-time throws on the day.

The Raiders also had three offensive linemen (John Simpson, Kolton Miller and Gabe Jackson) grade above 70.0 on PFF’s first review of the game. And Sam Young was the only Raiders offensive lineman with a grade below 60.0.

While the Raiders’ defense was stout against the run, limiting Melvin Gordon III to 3.6 yards per carry, the second and third levels of the defense were a mess in coverage. Cornerback Nevin Lawson was Las Vegas’ lowest-graded player in the game, and Trayvon Mullen wasn’t too far behind (55.9 on first review).

The box score looked great for Drew Lock. He threw for over 300 yards and two touchdowns in the contest, including a 92-yard strike to rookie Jerry Jeudy in the fourth quarter. However, he will likely finish PFF’s grading review process with a sub-75.0 PFF passing grade because he had zero big-time throws on the day and more than 50% of his passing yards came after the catch.

Rookie Watch

Raiders rookie Simpson was one of the game’s highest-graded players. He was a monster in the run game and allowed just two total pressures on the day.

Rookie wideout Bryan Edwards also had some bright spots in the game, catching two passes for 51 yards, including his first career touchdown. Ruggs finished his disappointing rookie season with just three catches for 38 yards and a fumble.

Denver started two rookie cornerbacks in Michael Ojemudia and Parnell Motley against Las Vegas. Both players allowed more than 70 yards in coverage and earned sub-65.0 PFF coverage grades on first review.

Offensively, rookie wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland had a positive impact with four receptions for 45 yards, but offensive linemen Netane Muti and Lloyd Cushenberry III earned sub-65.0 PFF grades on first review.

ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts and more in Premium Stats 2.0.

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