Rarely can a turning point be clearly found in a football game.

But, when the Broncos and Raiders lined up for their 119th head-to-head battle on Sunday, that turning point was obvious.

For most of the first half, Denver’s offense couldn’t move the ball because of injuries on the offensive line while the defense looked disinterested in playing the final game of the year. With the Raiders and Broncos tied up 3-3, Oakland moved the ball 74 yards, partially due to two explosive passes, to Denver’s five yard line.

On 3rd and goal from the five, Derek Carr found Hunter Renfrow on an inside route and the receiver caught the ball at the goal line. Thanks to timely tackling, Renfrow was called one half yard short of the goal line, setting up a 4th and goal from about a foot away.

Denver’s defense made a push at the line of scrimmage, winning in the trenches, and fullback Alec Ingold tried to run the ball over the goal line but was stonewalled.

There was Von Miller, an underrated run defender because of his otherworldly pass-rushing abilities, stuffing Ingold and standing him up before other Broncos defenders helped drive Ingold backwards. He was called short of the goal line on the field, and Jon Gruden’s replay attempt failed, giving the Broncos the ball back inside their own one yard line.

Football, is without a doubt, a game of momentum. Oakland had all the momentum and if they scored that touchdown, they would’ve led by a touchdown.

Instead, Denver followed that goal line stand up by forcing a fumble during the Raiders’ 2-minute drive.

Carr connected with Marcell Ateman for a 20-yard gain, but Broncos backup safety Trey Marshall forced a fumble to give Denver the ball back before halftime.

Finally, with momentum on their side, the Broncos offense was able to turn the great field position into a touchdown. Drew Lock used his mobility to scramble for a 12-yard gain to start the drive, and then he rolled right and found Andrew Beck wide open in the end zone.

Instead of likely trailing at halftime, the Broncos led 10-3 over the Raiders, who were desperate for the win to keep their playoff dreams alive.

After the half, the Broncos defense continued to play well and forced two straight punts while the offense continued to put field goals on the board and push their lead to 16-3.

The Raiders answered with a field goal of their own although they were deep in Denver territory and needed a touchdown. And during the Raiders’ fourth quarter drive, Miller — who came up huge with his stop of Ingold — sacked Carr for his eighth on the season. It also forced Carr to hear footsteps and get called for an intentional grounding penalty.

In the end, Denver barely held on to win 16-15, beating the Raiders for the last time as a team in Oakland. And it all started with that incredible goal line stand.

Multiple times this season, Vic Fangio’s defense has done a wonderful job of making big-time plays when they’re needed the most. Kareem Jackson hit Austin Eckeler at the goal line in LA to force a fumble. Alexander Johnson picked off Phillip Rivers in the end zone in Johnson’s first game with the Broncos. And Johnson forced a fumble, which was given from Jeremiah Attoachu to Jackson and returned 70 yards for a touchdown.

It’s all pointing towards the Broncos continuing to be led by the defense, just as they have for years. Hopefully the offense finally comes around in 2020 and the Broncos will be back to competing for the playoffs.