Nov 27, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws under pressure from Denver Broncos linebacker Baron Browning (56) during the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

In ’22 debut, Sam Darnold pushes Panthers past Broncos

Carolina’s Sam Darnold threw a touchdown pass and scored on a strange running play while the Panthers’ defense dominated in a 23-10 victory against the visiting Denver Broncos on Sunday afternoon in Charlotte, N.C.

Darnold (11 for 19, 164 yards) who had been injured in the preseason and then behind Baker Mayfield and PJ Walker in the pecking order, made good on his first chance in a role that he held last year.

D’Onta Foreman rushed 113 for yards on 24 carries and Eddy Pineiro kicked three field goals for the Panthers (4-8).

The Broncos (3-8) were limited to 246 yards of total offense in losing their third straight game. Russell Wilson completed 19 of 35 passes for 142 yards and a late touchdown.

Wilson was 6-1 against the Panthers while a member of the Seattle Seahawks.

The Panthers held the ball for more than six minutes on their first possession of the second half, driving 72 yards in 10 plays and scoring on Darnold’s bizarre 1-yard keeper. He dropped the ball, recovered the fumble and rolled into the end zone.

Carolina scored on its first possession of the fourth quarter on Pineiro’s 26-yard field goal.

The Panthers got the ball back on the ensuing kickoff when Jalen Virgil fumbled. That turned into Pineiro’s 36-yard field goal after Carolina chewed up nearly another 4 1/2 minutes.

The Broncos finally scored a touchdown at the end of a 14-play, 77-yard drive on Wilson’s 1-yard toss to Brandon Johnson with 3:19 left.

On an 11-play, 71-yard drive that lasted seven minutes, Darnold threw a 5-yard TD to DJ Moore with 30 seconds left in the first quarter for the game’s first points.

Brandon McManus’ 27-yard field goal for Denver and Pineiro’s 42-yarder accounted for the scoring in the second. McManus missed a 56-yarder on the last play of the half.

–Field Level Media

Nov 20, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Las Vegas Raiders safety Duron Harmon (30) tackles Denver Broncos wide receiver Kendall Hinton (9) in the first quarter at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders dispatch Broncos in OT

Derek Carr threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams in overtime, and the visiting Las Vegas Raiders beat the Denver Broncos 22-16 on Sunday.

Carr finished 23-for-37 passing for 307 yards and two touchdowns, both to Adams, who had seven catches for 141 yards. Josh Jacobs rushed for 109 yards and Daniel Carlson kicked three field goals for Las Vegas (3-7).

Russell Wilson was 24-for-31 passing for 247 yards, Latavius Murray rushed for 49 yards and a score and Brandon McManus kicked three field goals for the Broncos (3-7).

The Raiders got the ball first in overtime, and on the third play Carr found a wide-open Adams for the winning score just 1:36 into the extra session.

The Broncos went ahead on their opening drive of the game, going 92 yards on seven plays with Murray finishing it with a one-yard TD run to make it 7-0.

It was the first time this season Denver has scored on its first drive of the game.

Carlson missed a 46-yarder to break a streak of 41 straight, which was the longest active streak in the NFL, and McManus kicked a 48-yarder to make it 10-0 early in the second quarter, but Las Vegas responded.

The Raiders drove to the Denver 31-yard line when Carr hit Adams to cut the deficit to 10-7.

The Broncos had a chance to add to the lead at the end of the half but Las Vegas blocked McManus’ 25-yard field goal attempt.

Denver muffed the second half kickoff and was forced to punt from its own 12, giving the Raiders the ball near midfield. Five plays later Carlson tied it with a 52-yard field goal.

McManus matched Carlson with a 52-yard field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter to make it 13-10.

Carlson answered that with a career-long 57-yard field goal to tie it with 7:11 left, and McManus again put the Broncos ahead with a 48-yarder with 3:30 left.

Las Vegas then went 71 yards in 1:27 to set up Carlson’s 25-yarder to send it to overtime.

–Field Level Media

Nov 13, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels leaves the field after the Raiders were defeated by the Indianapolis Colts 25-20 at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Woebegone Broncos, Raiders clamor for success

Raiders Week in Denver arrived with little fanfare as the AFC West rivals prepare to face off with a combined record of 5-13 in 2022.

Las Vegas comes to town as the conversation stirs around both franchises is fixed more on survival than superiority.

The ones trying to survive might be the head coaches.

The Broncos (3-6) and Raiders (2-7) meet in Denver on Sunday with playoff hopes all but extinguished.

Josh McDaniels took over a Las Vegas team that made the playoffs under an interim coach last season but has suffered some bad losses to publicly put his job in jeopardy.

The drumbeat for McDaniels, who coached the Broncos in 2009-10 for 28 games before being fired, got louder when his Raiders lost to Indianapolis — at home — last week. The Colts played their first game under interim Jeff Saturday, who had never been a coach of any kind beyond high school.

Las Vegas owner Mark Davis has given McDaniels a vote of confidence.

“People in today’s world want instant gratification. The guy’s coached nine games. We’re 2-7, not the results we’re looking for but at the same time we’ve lost six one-score games with the ball and a chance to win at the end,” Davis told ESPN.

One of the Raiders’ wins was over Denver on Oct. 2, a 32-23 victory that was the high-water mark for the Broncos’ offense this season. Denver is averaging an NFL-worst 14.6 points, which has wasted a defense that holds opponents to the fewest per game (16.6).

The Broncos acquired Russell Wilson from Seattle in the offseason to solve their quarterback quandary. But the offense has produced just 12 touchdowns in nine games.

While Denver sinks, Wilson and head coach Nathaniel Hackett, in his first year as a head coach, are having trouble getting in sync.

“We’re close, but that’s not what we’re here for,” Hackett said. “We’re not here to be No. 1 in close games. We’re here to win football games. … We’ve got to get this stuff fixed.”

That task was made more difficult with injuries to the offense. KJ Hamler (hamstring) and Jerry Jeudy (ankle) are hurt, with Hamler expected to miss a few weeks, further depleting the wide receiver corps.

The offensive line has been hit hard by injuries, too. Center Lloyd Cushenberry III was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 8, guard Graham Glasgow left Sunday’s loss at Tennessee with a shoulder injury and guard Billy Turner was placed on IR on Monday with a knee injury.

Denver lost tackle Garrett Bolles for the season with a broken leg suffered Oct. 6.

Glasgow was able to practice limitedly Wednesday, so his chances of playing Sunday are improving. He is listed as questionable, as is safety Justin Simmons, who has been in and out of the lineup this year.

Simmons missed the Broncos’ most recent game, a 17-10 loss to the Titans, with a knee injury but practiced Wednesday.

Raiders running back Brandon Bolden did not practice on Wednesday for personal reasons, while receiver Davante Adams (abdomen) was limited. Linebacker Denzel Perryman (hip/ribs) was also limited.

–Field Level Media

Nov 13, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (10) is checked by trainers after getting injured in the first quarter at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Nelles-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy to have MRI on ankle

Denver Broncos wideout Jerry Jeudy is set to have an MRI on his injured ankle Monday after leaving Sunday’s game.

The team believes Jeudy strained a muscle behind his ankle, NFL Network reported Monday.

Jeudy was hurt on Denver’s first snap of the game against Tennessee when quarterback Russell Wilson’s pass intended for him fell incomplete. Jeudy was unable to put any pressure on his foot and was ruled out for the rest of the game. The Broncos lost to the Titans.

Jeudy, a 2020 first-round pick by the Broncos, has 30 receptions for 449 yards and three touchdowns this season.

–Field Level Media

Nov 13, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) is pressured by Tennessee Titans linebacker David Long Jr. (51) in the second quarter at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: George Walker IV-USA TODAY Sports

Titans shake off slow start, push past Broncos

Ryan Tannehill was 19-of-36 passing for 255 yards and two touchdowns, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine had five receptions for 119 yards and two scores and the Tennessee Titans rallied to defeat the Denver Broncos 17-10 at Nashville on Sunday.

Derrick Henry was held to 53 yards rushing on 19 carries for the Titans (6-3).

Russell Wilson was 21-of-42 passing for 286 yards, a TD to rookie Jalen Vigil and an interception for Denver (3-6). The Broncos played most of the game without wide receiver Jerry Jeudy after a left ankle injury on Denver’s first offensive snap of the game.

The Broncos, coming off a bye week after defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars at London on Oct. 30, finally ended a scoreless game following nine straight punts. On third-and-6 from his own 34 Wilson found Virgil wide open down the left sideline, and he finished off a 66-yard TD on his first NFL catch to give Denver a 7-0 lead with 8:21 left in the second quarter.

Tennessee went three-and-out on the next possession and the Broncos drove to the Titans’ 21 before settling for a 39-yard field goal from Brandon McManus for a 10-0 advantage.

Tennessee was finally able to sustain a drive on the ensuing possession. Tannehill led the Titans down the field on a 13-play, 75-yard drive capped by his 9-yard touchdown pass to Westbrook-Ikhine with 12 seconds left in the half.

The teams traded punts to open the third quarter before Tennessee struck quickly on its second possession of the second half.

Tannehill handed the ball off to Henry, who pitched it back to Tannehill. The QB hit Westbrook-Ikhine with a 63-yard TD pass to give the Titans a 14-10 lead.

The Broncos got a break when they recovered Malik Willis’ fumble at their own 34 midway through the fourth quarter but couldn’t move the ball and punted for the ninth time on the day.

Tannehill connected with Chigoziem Okonkwo on a 41-yard pass to set up Randy Bullock’s 35-yard field goal with 2:59 left.

Denver drove to the Tennessee 21 in the final minute but a sack on third down and a goal-line interception by Terrance Mitchell sealed the victory.

–Field Level Media

Nov 6, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Malik Willis (7) leaves the field with defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons (98) and linebacker Bud Dupree (48) after a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Titans look to rebound vs. Broncos with QB still uncertain

The Tennessee Titans nearly pulled off an upset that no one expected against the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday night.

Even with the threat of the pass nonexistent, Tennessee, behind backup quarterback Malik Willis, was two plays away from winning on the road. Now the Titans, who had won five straight before losing at Kansas City, may have starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill back for Sunday’s home game against the Denver Broncos.

Tannehill has missed the last two games with an ankle injury but has been practicing on a limited basis this week. He said Wednesday he is seeing some improvement.

“Definitely feeling the progress now, so that’s exciting,” he said. “Going to be dealing with pain tolerance for a while. It’s definitely testing my patience, doing everything I can to help it heal.”

Tennessee (5-3) wasn’t lighting it up in the passing game with Tannehill healthy and it got worse with Willis under center. He has thrown for 135 total yards in two games but the Titans were able to ride the running game to a win at Houston in Week 8.

Derrick Henry has shouldered the load, rushing for 334 yards and four touchdowns the past two games.

Last year, Tannehill had A.J. Brown to throw to for big plays, but Tennessee lacks a big-play wide receiver this year. Help could be on the way, however. Rookie Treylon Burks, who has been on injured reserve since suffering a toe injury in Week 4, is eligible to be activated.

“We’ll just have to see where he is physically,” coach Mike Vrabel said of Burks. “He’s worked extremely hard to stay in shape and condition, take care of his body, lift. I will say that whenever he’s ready, I’m excited for him to get back out there, and we’ll see where that is this week.”

Denver (3-5) is coming off a bye week and some roster turnover. The Broncos traded star linebacker Bradley Chubb to Miami before the deadline and got a 2023 first-round pick, a 2024 fourth-round pick and running back Chase Edmonds.

Chubb, a first-round pick in 2018, has played well when not sidelined with injury, so that will hurt Denver’s strong defense. Additionally, safety Justin Simmons didn’t practice Wednesday due to a knee sprain suffered in a win over Jacksonville in London on Oct. 30.

Linebacker Baron Browning is hopeful to play despite a hip flexor that kept him out of practice on Wednesday.

While injuries on defense are a concern, the biggest issue for the Broncos is the unproductive offense. Denver has scored more than 20 points twice, with the most for a game being 23 in a loss to Las Vegas. Russell Wilson was supposed to be the answer at quarterback, but he has six touchdown passes in seven games.

“We have to find more touchdowns. That’s just the name of the game,” Russell said Wednesday. “We can find more touchdowns here and there. I think there are opportunities for us. That’s the biggest part of it all.

“I think we’re super confident in what we’re doing, where we’re going and our mentality. The guys have really put the work in.”

Outside linebacker Bud Dupree (hip) was one of six Titans who did not practice Wednesday due to injury. Linebacker Zach Cunningham (elbow), S Amani Hooker (shoulder), DL Jeffery Simmons (ankle), DE Teair Tart (illness) and DB Josh Thompson (knee) also missed practice.

–Field Level Media

Sep 19, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Denver Broncos center Lloyd Cushenberry III (79) against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos place C Lloyd Cushenberry III (groin) on IR

The Denver Broncos placed starting center Lloyd Cushenberry III on injured reserve Tuesday with a groin injury.

In a corresponding move, the Broncos promoted safety Anthony Harris from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.

Cushenberry, 24, was injured in the Broncos’ 21-17 win over Jacksonville in Week 8. He’ll have to miss at least four games. Cushenberry had played every snap before sustaining the injury in London.

Cushenberry has started all 40 games in which he’s appeared since being selected in the third round of the 2020 draft.

Graham Glasgow is expected to replace Cushenberry at center this week against the Tennessee Titans.

Harris, 31, has appeared in two games this season for the Broncos, playing exclusively on special teams. He has 10 career interceptions in seven-plus seasons, mostly with Minnesota.

–Field Level Media

Oct 6, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos linebacker Bradley Chubb (55) gestures after a play in the second quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Dolphins acquire pass rusher Bradley Chubb from Broncos

Pass rusher Bradley Chubb was acquired by the Miami Dolphins from the Denver Broncos in exchange for a package of draft picks that includes a 2023 first-round selection, according to reports Tuesday.

NFL Network also reported the Dolphins were trading a 2023 fifth-round pick to the San Francisco 49ers for running back Jeff Wilson Jr.

The Dolphins pledged to work toward a long-term contract extension with Chubb as part of the deal with Denver, ESPN reported.

Chubb has 26 career sacks, including 5.5 this season playing outside linebacker in the base 3-4 defense of the Broncos. Miami employs the same scheme.

The fifth overall pick in 2018, Chubb is playing on the fifth-year option picked up by Denver with a base salary of $7.06 million

Denver will receive the first-round pick that went to the Dolphins as part of San Francisco’s trade in 2021 to move to No. 3 in the draft and select quarterback Trey Lance; a fourth-round pick in 2024; and running back Chase Edmonds, per reports.

The Broncos are sending a fifth-round pick in 2025 to Miami along with Chubb.

Draft capital should benefit the Broncos.

Denver traded two first-round picks among a package of draft choices to acquire quarterback Russell Wilson in March. By sending Chubb to the Dolphins, the Broncos recoup one first-rounder.

Chubb, 26, gives Miami a strong pair of quarterback-chasing edge defenders as he pairs with Jaelen Phillips. Phillips leads the Dolphins with three sacks.

The Dolphins have a total of 15 sacks, which is in the bottom third of the NFL, in eight games.

Miami (5-3) is 26th in the NFL in yards per play (5.89) and passing yards per game (262.1) and 28th in passing yards per attempt at 7.33 yards per pass.

Wilson, 26, carried the ball 92 times for 468 yards with two touchdowns in eight games (six starts). The 49ers’ acquisition of All-Pro RB Christian McCaffrey made Wilson a trade candidate, however.

Edmonds, 26, has 216 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns on the season. He was a fourth-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals in 2018 and was in his first season in Miami.

–Field Level Media

Oct 30, 2022; London, United Kingdom; A general overall view of Wembley Stadium during an NFL International Series game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Denver Broncos. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Latavius Murray helps Broncos jolt Jaguars in London

Latavius Murray rushed for a 2-yard touchdown with 1:43 remaining in the fourth quarter to lift the Denver Broncos to a 21-17 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday in London.

Russell Wilson returned from a nagging hamstring injury that kept him out of Denver’s 16-9 loss to the New York Jets on Oct. 23. He completed 18 of 30 passes for 252 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Murray’s score allowed the Broncos (3-5) to move ahead, and K’Waun Williams sealed the victory by jumping in front of Jaguars receiver Christian Kirk to pick off Trevor Lawrence on the ensuing possession.

Lawrence, who threw two costly interceptions, completed 18 of 31 passes for 133 yards and one touchdown.

The Jaguars (2-6) lost their fifth straight game overall and ninth in a row by one score. All six of their defeats this season have been by a one-score margin.

Jacksonville kept things close thanks to another productive rushing outing from Travis Etienne, who ran for 156 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries.

Jacksonville took the lead on its previous drive with 3:54 left in the fourth quarter after Etienne scored on a draw play from 1 yard out.

But Wilson led Denver back with a 7-play, 80-yard drive which began with a 47-yard pass down the sideline to KJ Hamler.

Lawrence’s first interception came in the first half on a play that could have put Jacksonville ahead by two scores. After driving to the Denver 1-yard line, Lawrence rolled out to his right near the sideline and fired a ball into the end zone, but Justin Simmons leaped and intercepted the pass.

The play swung the momentum in Denver’s favor.

Murray led all Broncos rushers with 46 yards on 14 carries, but Denver collectively ran for 101 yards. Melvin Gordon III also scored a touchdown and finished with 29 yards on nine carries.

–Field Level Media

Oct 17, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) throws the ball in the first half against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos QB Russell Wilson (hamstring) to start vs. Jaguars

The Russell Wilson show will perform live at London’s Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

Denver head coach Nathaniel Hackett confirmed on Friday that Wilson sufficiently has recovered from a strained hamstring to start at quarterback for the Broncos (2-5) against the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5).

Wilson has been a limited participant in practice this week but will be under center, barring any setbacks.

Wilson, 33, missed last Sunday’s 16-9 loss to the New York Jets after sustaining the injury in Denver’s Week 6 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. He also has been playing through an injury to his throwing shoulder.

Backup Brett Rypien completed 24 of 46 passes for 225 yards with no touchdowns and one interception against the Jets.

The Broncos have a bye in Week 9 but Wilson wants to get back on the field.

“You talk to Russ and mention that (sitting out), it’s not a great discussion,” Hackett said. “In the end, if he can go we want him to be able to play.”

Wilson has thrown for 1,442 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions in six games, completing 58.6 percent of his passes — far below his career average of 64.8.

–Field Level Media