LAS VEGAS (AP) The “AP!” chants began with 1:01 left, Raiders fans joining the players in making known their preference that Antonio Pierce goes from interim to full-time coach.

An even bigger statement was made on the field Sunday as Las Vegas continued its dominance over the Denver Broncos with a 27-14 victory behind Aidan O'Connell passing for 244 yards and two touchdowns, Zamir White rushing for 112 yards and a relentless pass rush.

This was the Raiders' eighth consecutive victory over their AFC West rivals and 10th in 11 games. That includes a 4-0 record in Las Vegas.

After both teams ended their season at 8-9 and out of the playoffs, the focus in Las Vegas turns to whether owner Mark Davis elevates Pierce or hires someone outside the organization. The Raiders went 5-4 since Pierce replaced Josh McDaniels on Halloween night.

“Why wouldn't we keep going the direction we're going?” Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby said. “The fact we've come together and done something special in such a short time is hard to do. We've got a guy who's played at the highest level, won a Super Bowl, he's been a captain, and now he's a great coach and he's a leader.”

Las Vegas' locker room was one big party with cigar smoke hanging in the air and former Raiders stars Marcus Allen, Ted Hendricks, Jim Otto, Jim Plunkett and Charles Woodson taking it all in.

Pierce also made it a point to enjoy the moment while also hoping this ride continues into next season.

“I was having fun as the linebacker coach,” Pierce said. "That was cool, right? But it is really cool being the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. It's really cool being in front of a room with men who buy in and believe what you're telling, what you're saying, how to do things.

“I love football, man. I said before it's my first love. Football never cheated on me. It doesn't talk back to me. It's always there.”

As for the game itself, Las Vegas took full control on the first play of the fourth quarter. O'Connell overcame a injury to the index finger on his throwing hand - he didn't play the Raiders' first drive of the second half - to complete a 33-yard touchdown pass to Jakobi Meyers to put Las Vegas ahead 24-7.

Meyers also scored a TD in the second quarter, turning what was designed to be a wide receiver pass to a 5-yard run when the play broke down.

Broncos quarterback Jarrett Stidham made his second start in a row in favor of the benched Russell Wilson. Stidham passed for 272 yards with a TD and interception and was sacked five times and hit 11 times. He quarterbacked the Raiders over their final two games last season in place of Derek Carr, who also was benched.

“I thought we lost in a lot of areas tonight,” Denver coach Sean Payton said. “I felt like they ran it better than us. They protected better than us. Our quarterback was under a lot more duress than theirs. You can point to a number of things.”

The Broncos will have plenty of time to address those points as their offseason begins.

Same with the Raiders, beginning with what they do regarding the coaching job. The players have made it known since midseason they want Pierce to get the job.

Now, apparently, so do the fans. Such chants were a first for Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams.

“I’ve heard them boo coaches,” Adams said. “(Pierce) embodies what it means to be a Raider.”


Adams reached 100 catches for the fourth straight season, joining Buffalo’s Stefon Diggs as the only players to accomplish that over the same span. Antonio Brown, who had six such consecutive seasons with Pittsburgh from 2013-18, holds the NFL record.

Las Vegas committed no penalties, the first time in franchise history the Raiders did that twice in a season. They also are just the seventh NFL team since 1960 to accomplish that twice in a season and the first since the New England Patriots in 2013.

The Raiders also weren’t penalized Nov. 26 against the Kansas City Chiefs.


Broncos: RT Mike McGlinchey (ribs) was placed on injured reserve on Saturday. ... WR Courtland Sutton (ankle), TE Nate Adkins (concussion), LB Nik Bonitto (calf) and RB Jaleel McLaughlin (calf) were injured during the game.

Raiders: RB Josh Jacobs (quadriceps), TE Michael Mayer (toe) and T Thayer Munford (knee/illness) did not play. Jacobs missed the last four games of the season and Mayer the final three. Munford was injured last week at Indianapolis.



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