A week after a low point in a loss in Kansas City across the board for the Raiders, Raider Nation is rejoicing right now. Their team is in the playoffs for the first time in 14 years. They did it in their usual style of late drives, both at the end of the first half and the end of the game.
First up was at the end of the first half. With the Raiders trailing 10-3 with 1:28 remaining in the second quarter, Derek Carr orchestrated the Raiders’ only touchdown drive of the game. It was a six-play, 75-yard drive finished off by a 13-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree to tie the game up at 10-10.
Carr has been fantastic within the last two minutes of first-half play this season, completing 34-of-47 attempts for 345 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions for a passer rating of 114.2.
A touchdown drive by the Chargers in the third quarter gave them the lead back at 16-13. Two consecutive drives for field goals put the Raiders ahead 19-16 with 2:40 left in the game. That drive included a 27-yard run by Latavius Murray, a 22-yard pass from Carr to Seth Roberts and an 8-yard scramble by Carr on third and 8 to set the Raiders up for the go-ahead field goal.
It became the 7th time this season Derek Carr has led the Raiders on a fourth quarter comeback win of the season, which leads the AFC and is tied for second in the NFL behind only Matt Stafford of the Lions.
Carr’s milestones started early in the game. On his first pass of the day, an 8-yard completion to Crabtree, he became just the second player in Raiders history with multiple 3,500-yard passing seasons, joining Rich Gannon who had three (1999, 2001 and 2002).
But those milestones don’t mean nearly as much as the wins. The Raiders hit 11 wins on the season which they also last reached in their 2002 Super Bowl season of 2002. Though an 11-3 record is one they haven’t hit since 2000. They have two games to reach the 12 wins they had that year, when they reached the AFC Championship game.
- Michael Crabtree’s 13-yard touchdown pass from Derek Carr with 22 seconds left in the first half for the Raiders’ first touchdown of the game was his eighth touchdown reception of the season. That gives him the second most this season amongst his fellow AFC receivers and is the second most within a single season during his eight-year career.
- Bruce Irvin closed out the first quarter with a forced fumble, his fifth of the season. Irvin is now tied for second in the league with teammate Khalil Mack with five forced fumbles.
- Reggie Nelson sealed the victory for the Raiders with a late interception of Philip Rivers. It’s his 4th pick of the season which leads the team and is tied for 6th in the league.