Whatever happens in the remnants of the NFL season, the Oakland Raiders have done enough to avoid being remembered as one of the team that failed to win a single game in an entire season. They beat the Kansas City Chiefs 24-20 behind a non-interception Derek Carr performance and one big run from Latavius Murray.
Yes, although the Raiders finished with 179 yards on 30 carries, 112 of them coming from Murray, he owes his impressive number to one huge 90-yard run in the first quarter that put the Raiders up 14-0. Being the bad team that they are, the Raiders went from 12:28 left in the second quarter to 1:42 left in the fourth quarter without a touchdown, scoring only three points. The Chiefs, struggling once again to move the ball in the air while not getting an elite running performance from Jamaal Charles, still managed to grab the lead, 20-17, with just over nine minutes left in the fourth.
But then Derek Carr had his biggest moment as a rookie, as a professional. He led the Raiders 80 yards on 17 plays, culminating with a touchdown pass to James Jones, giving Carr his first win as a quarterback in the NFL after getting used to winning a lot while playing for Fresno State.
Hopefully there’s many more to come because I like this feeling better than the other one, that’s for sure.
While this wins means a huge morale boost and a lot of weight off their shoulders for the Raiders, this means a lot more for the Chiefs, losing a very important game as they try to make their way into the playoffs. This almost surely means they’ll lose their shared lead of the division along with the Denver Broncos, and make them also something of a laughing stock due to being the first team that drops a game against the Raiders.
This is a season that could have turned out differently for the Raiders. They’ve lost five games by one touchdown or less. They’re not a playoff team or a very good one at that, but being 1-10 at this stage slightly lies about their place in the NFL. They’re not actually worse off than the Jacksonville Jaguars, and maybe even a few other teams that have two or three wins so far.