Finally, in a must-win game, the Raiders played like the Raiders.
After losing four straight games and falling into the basement of the AFC West, Oakland rallied from nine points down in the fourth quarter to beat the division-leading Kansas City Chiefs Thursday night, 31-30.
The tying touchdown came on the last play of the game, with time already wiped off the clock because of a defensive penalty. Derek Carr’s 2-yard pass to Michael Crabtree tied the game at 30-all, then Giorgio Tavecchio kicked the extra point for the win.
It was a wild finish, with the Raiders appearing to get the tying touchdown twice before Crabtree’s actual score. First, Jared Cook pulled down a long throw and rolled into the end zone, which was signaled as a TD – but was waved off after replays should he landed at the half-yard line. Then, Carr’s apparent scoring pass to Crabtree was negated by an offensive pass-interference call against Crabtree. Then the Chiefs were flagged twice for defensive holding, keeping the game alive.
Finally, the Raiders were able to pull out the win.
The Raiders now are 3-4, while the Chiefs fall to 5-2. A loss by Oakland Thursday night could have killed the team’s hopes for a second straight trip to the playoffs.
The Raiders offense, dormant during the four-game losing streak – in which it scored an average of just over 13 points – came alive Thursday night. Carr completed 29-of-52 throws for 417 yards and three touchdowns, without an interception. His favorite target was wideout Amari Cooper, who had pretty much been absent from the offense all season. But on Thursday, Cooper had 11 catches for 210 yards and two touchdowns, from 38 and 45 yards.
The Raiders’ No. 1 running back, Marshawn Lynch, was ejected early for unsportsmanlike conduct, leaving the running game to DeAndre Washington (who rushed for one TD) and Jalen Richard.
Now, with a long-sought victory, the Raiders will go on the road next Sunday, Oct. 29, to Buffalo to try to keep the momentum rolling vs. the Bills.