The Oakland Raiders had a quick turnaround as they hosted the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday Night looking to snap a four-game losing streak.
Much like the previous games, the Raiders would get down early as the Chiefs used the opening drive to go 40 yards on 10 plays and get a 53-yard field goal to take the early 3-0 lead.
Offensive coordinator Todd Downing has been under pressure to get his offense and Amari Cooper going, and he did just that Thursday night. Cooper was involved from the very beginning of the night when he caught Derek Carr’s first pass for a gain of 12. But he wasn’t done, Downing called some trickery with a flea flicker deep to Cooper, who hauled it in and tip-toed down the sideline for the 38-yard touchdown pass to give the Raiders the 7-3 lead.
Heading into the game Cooper had hauled in just 44 receptions and one touchdown in the first quarter through the first 6 games. It took him just two receptions on the first drive to top that, going for 50 yards on his two receptions and the touchdown.
Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith is having the best season of his career, and it continued against a Raiders defense that has been struggling. Smith drove down the field to find tight end Travis Kelce for their first touchdown of the game to take a 10-7 lead in the first quarter.
Cooper wasn’t done after the first series. Carr through a beautiful ball across the middle to find him again as he ran after the catch to go 45 yards and his second touchdown of the game.
Andy Reid’s offense has become explosive with the addition of Tyreek Hill. After being pinned back at their own one-yard line by a punt from Marquette King and gunner Cordarrelle Patterson, it took them just three plays to get into the end zone. Smith found Hill deep on a 64-yard touchdown after beating David Amerson deep down the right sideline to retake the lead 17-14.
To no surprise to the Raiders-Chiefs rivalry, things got chippy on the Raiders ensuing drive. Facing a 3rd and 10, Carr kept the ball and was roughed by cornerback and Oakland-native Marcus Peters who was flagged for a 15-yard penalty. Adding to it, running back Marshawn Lynch ran off the bench to get into the scuffle and was ejected for pushing a referee. Lynch would finish with just two rushes for nine yards.
After missing a costly extra point last week, Giorgio Tavecchio had another tough week having one field goal tipped at the line and missing another one wide left. With the Raiders trailing 30-21 in the fourth quarter, the young kicker got back on track to bring the score to a one-score deficit at 30-24.
With just over four minutes remaining in the game, head coach Jack Del Rio held confidence in his defense and punted the ball back to the Chiefs. The Chiefs had already had 430 total yards on offense, and if they got one first down the game would likely be over. Denico Autry and Khalil Mack responded to the call by sacking Smith on 3rd down for an 11-yard loss, punting the ball back to the Raiders.
With one last chance, Carr had to go 85 yards with 2:25 left in the game and just one timeout.
The young quarterback started by going to his trusted receiver Michael Crabtree, who cut inward instead of going out of bounds to bring the clock down to the two-minute warning. Needing a big play, Carr went back to Cooper for a 39-yard catch down the middle to add to his career-high 210 receiving yards.
Craziness ensued with the Raiders facing a 3rd and 10 with just 18 seconds remaining and no timeouts.
Carr threw a beautiful ball to tight end Jared Cook who looked to roll into the end zone for the go-ahead score, but the play was reviewed and he was ruled down just short. Because the Raiders had no timeouts, 10 seconds was ran off the clock to give the Raiders 1st and goal from the one-yard line. The craziness wasn’t over.
With 8 seconds left on the clock, Carr found Crabtree in the corner of the end zone but the receiver was called for offensive pass interference, backing the Raiders up to the 11-yard line with just :03 on the clock.
Seemingly with only one play left to win, Carr threw the ball high to Cook who had the go-ahead touchdown go off his fingertips and drop to the ground before flags were thrown for defensive holding.
Using the extra down, Carr found Seth Roberts in the back of the end zone but he was ruled out of bounds before another flag was thrown for defensive holding, giving the Raiders another new life.
With one last play, Carr rolled to his left to and found Crabtree again in the front corner of the end zone. Tavecchio erased all the previous kicks and knocked the extra point through the uprights to complete the Raiders’ walk-off win.
The Raiders needed the win to bring the 3-4 before they head out on the road to take on the Buffalo Bills next week.