DENVER — The Denver Broncos throttled running back Marshawn Lynch and sent quarterback Derek Carr to the sideline with a back injury, then sealed their 16-10 win over Oakland on Sunday on safety Justin Simmons’ interception of EJ Manuel at the Denver 8 in the closing minutes.
Despite holding Lynch to 12 yards on nine carries, the Broncos found themselves in danger of frittering away an AFC West showdown they had dominated when Riley Dixon’s punt traveled just 37 yards to the Oakland 42 with 4:16 remaining.
Trailing by six, Manuel heaved a high toss to Amari Cooper just after the 2-minute warning but Simmons, who won the job from three-time Pro Bowl safety T.J. Ward this summer, came down with the ball just shy of the goal line and took it out to 8. The Broncos ran out the clock to hit their bye week at 3-1.
Oakland (2-2) had cut its deficit to six on Giorgio Tavecchio’s 38-yard field goal with 5:23 remaining.
That came after Brandon McManus hit the left upright from 29 yards out early in the fourth quarter after nailing kicks from 28, 36 and 46 yards.
Denver’s only touchdown was a doozy, a one-handed grab of Trevor Siemian’s 22-yard pass by tight end A.J. Derby.
The Raiders couldn’t do much against Denver’s fortified front seven that also stuffed Melvin Gordon, Ezekiel Eliott and LeSean McCoy. They managed just 24 yards on 15 carries for a 1.6-yard rushing average.
Carr left the game in the third quarter with a back injury after he was sacked by Shelby Harris and was hit by Adam Gotsis as he twisted awkwardly. Coach Jack Del Rio said Carr suffered from back spasms.
Four plays later, the Broncos sniffed out a fake punt on fourth-and-11 from the Raiders 33 and wide receiver Jordan Taylor stuffed punter Marquette King, who was whistled for unsportsmanlike conduct for throwing the football at fullback Andy Janovich as he got up.
The Broncos took over at the Oakland 15 but McManus missed from 29 yards out.
Carr (10 of 18 for 143 yards) was replaced by Manuel, who drove the Raiders 73 yards for Tavecchio’s 38-yard field goal. Manuel finished 11 of 17 for 106 yards.
The Broncos jumped out to a 10-0 lead on a 28-yard field goal by McManus and the one-handed touchdown grab by Derby, who led the Broncos with 75 yards on four catches.
Derby lined up from the fullback position and raced past rookie middle linebacker Marquel Lee, then reached with his right arm to snare the slightly overthrown pass from Siemian. He never broke stride — nor did he gather the ball with his other hand — on his last couple of steps into the end zone.
Long time coming
The Broncos looked like they were in prime shape late in the first half when Bennie Fowler downed a punt at the Oakland 1, but Carr instead produced Oakland’s first 99-yard touchdown drive since Oct. 2, 2011, against New England. He found Johnny Holton racing past safety Darian Stewart and hit him in stride for a 64-yard scoring strike .
The Broncos haven’t allowed a first-quarter score all season. They led 10-0 before the Raiders had managed their initial first down, which wouldn’t come until the 11-minute mark of the second quarter.
Raiders: Return home to host the Baltimore Ravens.
Broncos: After a bye week, host the New York Giants for fourth home game, a stretch that will be followed by three consecutive road games.