Welcome to the wild, wild AFC West, where the Raiders are now in a three-way tie for the lead at 6-6.
The Raiders beat the visiting New York Giants Sunday, 24-17, getting great contributions from Derek Carr, Marshawn Lynch, Cordarelle Patterson and Khalil Mack. Meanwhile the Kansas City Chiefs – after starting the season 5-1 – lost to the New York Jets to fall to 6-6, and the Los Angeles Chargers beat the Cleveland Browns.
With four games remaining, the Raiders – who at one point lost four straight and six of eight – have now won two consecutive games and can control their destiny. Oakland travels to Kansas City to play the Chiefs next Sunday and will finish the season with a game against the Chargers. Both the Chiefs and Chargers hold the tiebreaker over Oakland with victories in their first matchups.
The Raiders started with a bang, scoring on their first possession on Lynch’s breakaway 51-yard touchdown run on a third-and-1 play.
After the Jets tied it 7-7, Giorgio Tavechhio’s 39-yard field goal gave Oakland a 10-7 lead at halftime. After a scoreless third period, the Raiders went up 17-7 on DeAndre Washington’s 9-yard run. The Giants rebounded with Evan Engram’s 10-yard TD pass from Geno Smith, but the Raiders responded immediately. On the first play of their next possession, Carr connected on a screen to Patterson for 59 yards that set up a 9-yard TD pass to Johnny Holton and a 24-14 lead.
The Giants were able to march to a field goal to cut the margin to 24-17 with just over a minute and a half left in the game, but Oakland recovered the onside kick and then ran out the clock for the win.
Lynch had another big game for the Raiders, rushing for 101 yards and adding 20 yards on two catches. Carr completed 22-of-36 throws for 287 yards. Wideouts Seth Roberts, Patterson and Holton stepped up – in the absence of Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper – to combine for 12 catches for 182 yards and a TD.
On defense, Mack had a strip sack in the red zone to stop one Giants scoring threat and linebacker NaVorro Bowman and defensive back Keith McGill had fumble recoveries as well. Mack, Bruce Irvin and Denico Autry had sacks.
With the loss, the Giants fall to 2-10.