No Antonio Brown, no problem.
The Raiders fans in Oakland let their displeasure for the since-departed wide receiver be known throughout Monday night's showdown with the Denver Broncos, but the Raiders themselves had better things to focus on. Chief among them: Their own rousing performance in a 24-16 victory over their AFC West rivals -- a Week 1 win that was far more lopsided than the score suggests.
Quarterback Derek Carr (22-for-26, 259 yards, 1 TD) had no problem whatsoever operating in Jon Gruden's offense without a big-name target like Brown, approaching his 2017 MVP form -- and perhaps even surpassing it -- against a Vic Fangio defense neutered from start to finish by quick strikes, complementary pounding from rookie running back Josh Jacobs (85 yards, 2 TDs) and Grade-A protection from Trent Brown and the rest of Oakland's O-line. On the other side of the ball, the Raiders were arguably just as efficient, getting after new Broncos QB Joe Flacco early and often, limiting Denver to fewer than 100 first-half yards and setting a chippy tone for their pleasantly surprising debut.
Unlike Carr, Flacco looked like the opposite of comfortable for much of Monday night's affair. Pressured off the edge by Arden Key, driven into the ground on several hard hits in the pocket and just plain out of sync in an offense that often looked unprepared, he didn't target Emmanuel Sanders until after the Raiders had taken a multiple-score lead, pulling Denver within eight points just before the two-minute warning after settling for three field-goal drives earlier in the contest. Flacco, of course, wasn't the only concerning member of the Broncos, as Fangio's clock management also left something to be desired on a night in which Oakland simply had its way.
To see how it all play out in real time, check out our live blog of the night below. You can watch the replay, including in condensed and all-22 formats,with NFL Game Pass.
Relive all the top updates, highlights and analysis from Monday night's showdown in our live blog from the Broncos-Raiders game below: