Raiders winners and losers in 32-23 victory vs. Broncos

The Raiders almost let their first win of the season slip away on Sunday after the Broncos pulled within two points late, but a touchdown from running back Josh Jacobs closed the door on Denver, and Las Vegas won, 32-23.

After being a pass-happy squad for most of the season thus far, the Raiders featured a balanced attack on offense and had more rushing yards than passing yards. Star wide receiver Davante Adams had a good day anyway, racking up nine catches for 101 yards.

So which players made the largest impact? Here are the winners and losers this week for the Raiders.

Winner: RB Josh Jacobs

This column called for more touches for running back Josh Jacobs last week, and against the Broncos, Jacobs proved he’s up to the task. He finished with a career-high 144 yards rushing on 28 carries and two touchdowns. He also added five catches for 31 yards.

He busted loose for a sensational 43-yard run in the second half, proving to coach Josh McDaniels that run plays can become big plays with Jacobs in the backfield, so he doesn’t always have to pass to be aggressive.

Here’s Jacobs’ late touchdown that put an end to the Broncos’ hopes. Time will tell if McDaniels continues to balance his play-calling, but it made all the difference in getting his first win as Raiders coach.

Winner: QB Derek Carr

Quarterback Derek Carr had some rough moments against the Broncos, and didn’t throw a touchdown or even surpass 200 yards through the air. In fact, he earned heavy consideration for the loser list this week.

But after the Broncos easily marched downfield late in the fourth quarter to make the score 25-23, Carr scrambled from the pocket and converted a key third-down on the ensuing drive.

Carr broke from the pocket several times and ended with 40 rushing yards. It’s the type of play Carr didn’t make in the first three weeks of the season, and perhaps he’ll be willing to scramble more in the future when needed.

Winner: Maxx Crosby

Defensive end Maxx Crosby continues to be a beast on the edge for the Raiders. He had two sacks, two tackles for loss, and two quarterback hits on the day, including a no-contest takedown of Broncos QB Russell Wilson.

Crosby got a little more help from his fellow edge rusher Chander Jones, as Jones forced a holding penalty and was more noticeable on the field. If Crosby can get more help form his fellow defensive ends, he could he in line for a career year.

Winner: Amik Robertson

Cornerback Amik Robertson had a rough start to his day, falling down on a long completion to WR Jerry Jeudy. But he recovered in a big way, mostly by scooping up a fumble caused by safety Duron Harmon and taking it to the house for six points.

Jeudy appeared to mock Robertson’s height after his early catch, but Robertson didn’t back down and made perhaps the largest impact for the Raiders on a day they were without starting CB Rock Ya-Sin.

Loser: G Dylan Parham

The Raiders rotating offensive line continues to be a story. This week, rookie lineman Dylan Parham started at right guard. In the first half, he allowed a sack on a stunt from the defensive line that pinned the Raiders back on their own 2-yard line.

Parham is a promising rookie, and his place on the loser list this week is partially credited to coach McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler for neglecting the offensive line in the offseason.

Loser: OL Jermaine Eluemunor

Before Parham allowed his sack, offensive tackle Jermaine Eluemunor (who has also played guard), committed a false start, backing the Raiders up in their own territory.

After the ensuing sack, the Raiders punted and the Broncos had a nice return to set up an easy touchdown to go ahead 7-3. Once again, the rotating line continues to be an issue and McDaniels would do well to choose one combination so they can settle in and grow as a group.

McDaniels is still an honorable mention for the winner list, as he earned his first victory as Raiders coach. But he has a lot of work to do, as does the entire team.

Perhaps they found something against the Broncos though, especially with their balanced offense. The Raiders’ next chance for victory is Monday night, Week 5 against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.

Story originally appeared on Raiders Wire