In the first quarter of the Las Vegas Raiders’ season opener against the Denver Broncos on Sunday, Jimmy Garoppolo drew a “Roughing the Passer” penalty on Justin Simmons after diving near the first down marker.
At first, it looked like a clear infraction and obvious penalty on Simmons. But if you look closely at the clip below, Simmons made minimal contact with Garoppolo, who did quite the acting job to sell the hit and draw a penalty:
The penalty wound up making a huge difference, too. The Raiders scored a touchdown on that drive, and they went on to win 17-16. Had the Broncos held the Raiders to a field goal there, the outcome could have been entirely different.
At the end of the day, however, the Broncos also need to take responsibility for coming up short. They mustered just 16 points against a defense that allowed an average of 26.4 points per game last season, not to mention that kicker Wil Lutz cost the club four points with a missed field goal and a failed extra point attempt.
The 31-year-old Garoppolo finished the day with 200 passing yards for two touchdowns (both to newcomer Jakobi Meyers) and one interception. The Raiders will look to improve to 2-0 on the young season when they visit Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium this Sunday.
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