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'Just does what it takes to win': Jimmy Garoppolo helps rally team past Broncos in his Raiders debut

Getting a win in the NFL is hard. It's even more difficult when it's your first game with a new team in a hostile environment on the road.

Nevertheless, Jimmy Garoppolo made it look smooth.

"He's a good leader. He's won a lot of games in this league," Josh McDaniels said the QB following the 17-16 victory. "I think the guys in the locker room know who they have and what this guy can do, how competitive he is. He's a very good leader. He's a great communicator. Just does what it takes to win.

"Doesn't care about his statistics or anything like that, it's just 'whatever I can do at my position to try to help the team win, I'm going to try to do it.' Super happy that he's a Raider."

After spending six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, the Raiders' new quarterback came to play Sunday afternoon. He started the day off strong, capitalizing on great field position following a botched onside kick by the Broncos. Garoppolo's first drive in the Silver and Black resulted in a six-yard touchdown pass to Jakobi Meyers.

However, following the opening drive of the game, Garoppolo couldn't get back in the end zone for three quarters. The team got three points from a Daniel Carlson 24-yard field goal in the second quarter after a few red zone mishaps, including an interception at the 5-yard line due to a forced pass to Ameer Abdullah, bobbled up and caught by Kareem Jackson.

"The pick [was] a terrible, stupid decision," Garoppolo said. "Just got to take the points there and throw it away when nothing's there. I thought mental toughness kicked in and guys stuck with. They believed in me, so I appreciate that."

When the fourth quarter came around, Garoppolo showed why he was sought after by the Raiders in free agency, and why his offense believes in his abilities. With 8:54 left in the game, Jimmy G rallied his troops 60 yards down the field, resulting in another touchdown throw to Meyers, who ended the day with nine catches and 81 receiving yards.

"He's a football player. He's tough," McDaniels said of Meyers, who he previously coached in New England. "He does a lot of dirty work. He blocks in the running game. Can go inside and make plays inside. He's got good size and can make some things happen on third down or in the red zone. That's why he's here. … Always comes up big in big games and today was no different."

After completing nearly 77 percent of his passes for 200 yards, Garoppolo closed out the game with his legs. An eight-yard scramble for a first down with 1:43 remaining set up a few kneels to leave Denver with the win.

"The running kind of just happened. I didn't plan for it," he said. "They rushed past me and the opportunity was there so I just saw the first down marker and had to go get it."

Garoppolo's first win as a Raider is also the Silver and Black's seventh straight over their AFC West foe. The Raiders also hold sole possession of first place in the AFC West with the Broncos, Chiefs and Chargers all falling in Week 1.

"When you get up [in score], you have to have the 'step on their throat' type mindset," Garoppolo said. "Today was a little different falling behind, but guys stuck together. That was a big part of it and if we keep doing that, we'll be in a good spot."

View photos from the Raiders' Week 1 matchup against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High.

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