Right from the start, the Raiders were looking like a different team. They showed a lot of fight on both sides of the ball and very nearly pulled this one out -- a feat that seemed downright impossible just a week ago.
They converted their first third down attempt on the first drive when on third and three, Derek Carr went to Mychal Rivera for an 8-yard completion. On third and five from their own 40-yard line, the drive ended with an incompletion when Denarius Moore slipped on his route and the pass was knocked down.
The Patriots came out on offense and the Raiders defense did something they hadn't done yet this season - hold the opposition without a score on their first drive. Then the offense did something they hadn't done much of this season - gave Marcel Reece the ball. He had two straight touches - one for nine yards, then a 7-yard first down run.
The drive looked quite good and was one of their more impressive of the season. But once the Raiders were inside the 30-yard line, it fell apart. A tackle for loss on a pass in the backfield was bookended by two Raiders timeouts. And the Raiders would settle for a 49-yard field goal. It was the first field goal attempt of the season for the Raiders. It was good and put the Raiders up 3-0.
When the Patriots took the field again, they starting moving the ball on the ground with four-straight runs. But then Brady went back to the air and three plays later, they were forced to punt.
The Raiders doubled up the Patriots in time of possession in the first quarter 10:02 to 4:58. They also led the Patriots in first downs 6 to 2. And most importantly on the scoreboard 3-0.
The Raiders lost Rod Streater to a foot injury on the ensuing possession. He suffered a hip flexor last week and was questionable coming into the game.
Then things started to pick up for the Patriots as they churned the ball down the field on short completions and runs. The drive was finished off by a 2-yard touchdown from Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski to give the Patriots the 7-3 lead.
On the following drive, the Raiders couldn't get going and matters were made worse by a 22-yard dud punt from Marquette King to give the Patriots the ball at midfield. They took the great field position and once again drove to the two-yard line. Thanks to a fumbled snap, the Patriots are held out of the endzone and settle for a field goal to head into halftime up 10-3.
A great start for the Raiders in the second half. On third and 15 for the Patriots, Justin Tuck sacked Tom Brady and the Patriots possession ends with a three-and-out. After the punt, the Raiders started with great field position in Patriots territory at the 48-yard-line.
The Raiders converted their first third down conversion on that drive on a 12-yard catch by James Jones who tiptoed the sideline. But aside from an automatic first down on a Patriots holding penalty, that was all the Raiders offense could muster. Sebastian Janikowski was back out for the consolation prize. He converted the 37-yard field goal to pull to 10-6.
It was another defensive stand for the suddenly competent Raiders on the next Patriots possession. In third and 3 at midfield, Khalil Mack blew by the Patriots left tackle to put a hurting on Tom Brady as he threw and it fell incomplete.
Continuing the surprising play by the Raiders, they took the ball and went on another long drive. But as before, the drive stalled and Janikowski came back out for a 47-yard field goal to pull the score to 10-9. It was a great looking game by the Raiders but they had yet to hit paydirt.
It was another short field for the Patriots after a good return to the 41-yard-line. And yet again, they took advantage of the short field and drove for a score. After two goal line stops by the Raiders, what looked initially like another Rob Gronkowski touchdown was defended by Charles Woodson to hold the Patriots to a field goal and a 13-9 lead.
After a three and out for the Raiders, the Patriots went on another long drive. Along the way they converted a couple third downs along the way, including a third and 15 with a 22-yard connection from Brady to Gronkowski. Raiders got the stop but not before they had driven into scoring position and the Patriots added another field goal to take a 16-9 lead.
What that meant is very score in the game had come from a -kowski. Sebastian Jankikowski had three field goals, Rob Gronkowski had a touchdown, and Stephen Gostkowski had three field goals. Go Poland!
Another three and out for the Raiders and the Patriots had the ball again. This time, the Raiders defense showed up and ended the Patriots series with a three and out on a sack from C.J. Wilson on Tom Brady.
The Raiders took over at their own 38-yard-line with 3:12 remaining. Then after an 18-yard completion from Carr to James Jones, the Raiders were in first and ten at the Patriots 33-yard-line with 2:00 in the game. Carr goes long for James Jones on the first play and he very nearly comes up with it in the endzone. After a short run by Darren McFadden, the Raiders were in third and 7 from the 30-yard-line and were bailed out by a pass interference that put the ball at the 6-yard-line.
On the first play, Darren McFadden went up the middle for the touchdown... with the help of a holding by rookie guard, Gabe Jackson. After the penalty, the Raiders set up in first and goal at the 12. On the next play, Carr goes for Denarius Moore who turned up field too soon and had the ball bounce off his chest, tipped in the air, and intercepted by Patriots defensive tackle, Vince Wilfork.
Raiders hearts ripped out. Patriots kneel out the clock for a 16-9 win.
|Oakland Raiders (0-3-0)|
|New England Patriots (2-1-0)|
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