Oakland, CA – Talk about a wild finish, with eight seconds left on the clock the Raiders pulled off the impossible. Two touchdowns were overturned accompanied by flags on each play. Derek Carr who took full name for last weeks loss, finally connected with Michael Crabtree for the game winning 2-yard touchdown.
Oakland’s 31-30 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs was a must win. The Raiders ended their four-game skid against a team that started off the season undefeated. Now with two losses thanks to the Raiders, the AFC West is back up for grabs. Oakland finally turned things around after being out of synch the last three weeks.
“I was just trying to find a one-on-one,” Carr explained on that last play. “At that moment, you just have to find a one-on-one with the coverages that they’re playing and give somebody a chance. There’s nothing technical about it.”
“Games like this, going down to the wire, I absolutely love it,” said head coach Jack Del Rio. “It’s something about being in the NFL, playing and coaching as long as I have, you just appreciate these moments.”
The ending is something to remember, Jared Cook made an incredible leaping catch and fell into the end zone but that touchdown was overturned because he was down by contact. Carr then found Crabtree in the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown but Crabtree was called for a push off on cornerback Marcus Peters and that touchdown was also overturned.
“I never gave up,” Crabtree said. “Marcus Peters is a good cornerback. I feel the call was bogus, but it’s football. On to the next play.”
The winning touchdown tied the game 30-30 and Giorgio Tavecchio’s field goal was the point that sealed their victory. The Raiders needed this win desperately and did not want to fall 2-5 in their division. Carr looked more like the playoff quarterback we’re used to than the struggling player coming off an injury last week.
Carr went 29-of-52 for 417 yards while tossing three touchdowns. He took a more aggressive approach and recored two touchdowns in the first quarter, which included one on opening drive. Carr connected with Amari Cooper for a 38-yard and 45-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
Oakland had a plethora of opportunities to extend their lead early but too many dropped passes and penalties held them back. Kansas City stayed close, Harrison Butker kicked a 53-yard field goal and Alex Smith’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce in the first made it a close game. But by the second quarter Smith used the long ball and found Tyreek Hill for the 64-yard touchdown making it a 17-14 game.
Late in the second Marshawn Lynch caused some commotion when he ran on the field from the sideline during a small melee between both teams after Carr got hit. But Lynch’s unprofessional attempt to assist his teammates led to his ejection. The running back roughed up a referee by mistake and was immediately tossed from the game. Not a smart decision by Lynch whose been in the league long enough to know right from wrong.
“I was disappointed he ran out because I knew we had a 15-yard penalty and we’d be in good shape,” said Del Rio. “I told him you can’t leave the bench like that. That was about it. Next thing I knew, he was being tossed. The referee told me he had actually put his hands on him.”
After Lynch left, Tavecchio missed a 45-yard field goal before the half ended. The Raiders had no choice to get control of this game. Carr went deep to Cooper and a flag was thrown due to Peters horse collar tackle in the third. That moved the ball into the end zone. DeAndre Washington followed with a 4-yard touchdown to give Oakland a 21-20 lead over the Chiefs.
Smith then made a complete pass to Albert Wilson, that same pass was tipped and almost intercepted by Keith McGill. Wilson was able to catch the tipped ball off McGill and get the the 63-yard touchdown. That would’ve been the Raiders first interception this season. Butker followed with a 37-yard field goal to give the Chiefs a 30-21 lead over Oakland late in the third.
By the fourth it was the “Derek Carr” show. Despite the numerous dropped passes, Carr got back into a groove. His late game heroics were something out of a playoff book. For the first time in a long time, the team came together in one of the most thrilling victories this season.
“We struggled to do a lot of things over the last month,” Carr said. Two-and-five did not sound good. That made our stomach hurt.”