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Raiders-Jets week 10: Another close wins gets Las Vegas back to .500

It wasn’t pretty, but Antonio Pierce moves to 2-0

New York Jets v Las Vegas Raiders
Aidan O’Connell
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

It wasn’t beautiful, but the Las Vegas Raiders are 5-5 after a 16-12 win over the New York Jets on Sunday night. Let’s look at some of the keys to the game:

One touchdown wins it:

There were seven field goals and one touchdown in this game. The Raiders scored the touchdown and that was the difference, a beautiful throw-and-catch from rookies Aidan O’Connell and Michael Mayer early in the third quarter. The Jets actually moved the ball well, but they are simply allergic to the end zone. They haven’t scored a touchdown in the past 35 possessions and have scored a NFL-low eight touchdowns this season, It wasn’t a great night for either offense, but the Raiders cashed in once and it counted.

Defense saves another game:

This was the third Raiders’ win that was saved by a late big play by Las Vegas’ defense. Linebacker Robert Spillane intercepted a bad decision by Jet’s quarterback Zach Wilson deep in the Raiders’ territory late in the game to kill a big opportunity for New York to take the game-winning score.

New York Jets v Las Vegas Raiders
Josh Jacobs
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Jacobs leads way:

Raiders’ interim coach Antonio Pierce said at halftime the they needed to “run the damn ball” and that’s how they won the game. Josh Jacobs had his first 100-yard game the season as he had 116 yards on 27 carries. He has 214 rushing yards since the coaching change. Leaning on Jacobs is always a good idea and it paid off in this game.

Win was like most Raiders wins this season:

Last week, emotion and a really bad Giants’ team resulted in a big 30-6 Raiders’ win. This game was more like the Raiders’ first three wins. It wasn’t pretty and it was clunky at times. But the Raiders survived.

Back in race:

The Raiders are one of 11 teams in the AFC with, at least, five wins. It’s going to be a wild final eight weeks of the regular season.

Schedule getting tougher:

The Raiders have had the second easiest schedule in the NFL, but it does toughen with games at the Miami Dolphins and at home against the Kansas City Chiefs in the next two weeks before the bye. We will learn much more about the Raiders before December hits.

Most interceptions:

Raiders’ quarterback Aidan O’Connell threw an interception late in the first quarter and it was the Raiders’ 14th thrown interception of the season. It is the most in the NFL. O’Connell has been picked off four times (plus a lost fumble) in just over three games of play. He needs to work on that.

Oops:

Pierce showed his inexperience when he threw a challenge flag, trying to arguing ball placement after an interception. All turnovers are automatically reviewed and Pierce was charged a timeout for that mistake. It’s a work in progress.

Offensive line movement:

Jermaine Eluemunor started at left tackle with Kolton Miller out with a shoulder injury. Thayer Munford played right tackle.

Streak over:

The Jets scored a field goal on their first drive of the game. It was the first time this season that they scored on their opening drive. They were the last team in the NFL to do so.