Oakland, CA - For the first time this season, a late attempt to score was successful with less than two minutes remaining on the clock. Derek Carr found James Jones in the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown. That put the Raiders back on top, the Kansas City Chiefs failed to get into the red zone in the final seconds giving Oakland their first win of the season. The Raiders stunned the Chiefs 24-20 despite rallying a comeback in the fourth to tied the game.
"It's a huge load off our shoulders," said CB Charles Woodson. "To come into this game 0-10, that's pressure. For us to end the game and finally find a way to come up with a win, that was unbelievable."
Oakland snapped a 16-game losing streak dating back to November 17, 2013 under former head coach Dennis Allen. Many predicted they would finish the season 0-16. The Raiders silenced their naysayers with a remarkable performance on Thursday's main stage. Woodson made history after sacking Alex Smith in the third quarter becoming the first NFL player in NFL history to record 50 interceptions and 20 sacks in a career.
"Man, Wood is amazing," CB DJ Hayden said. "When he got drafted I was probably still in elementary school. For him to be out there playing at a high level, it's a blessing and I'm glad for him. Wood's going to be in the Hall of Fame, first ballot."
The past three days of rain did more than end a drought in the Bay Area, it also gave the Oakland life. The Raiders maintained their lead in the first half behind RB Latavius Murray's two touchdowns putting Oakland up 14-3 over Kansas City. Murray rushed for an 11-yard and 90-yard touchdown in the first and second quarter. But after hard hit and a fumble, Murray left the game with a mild concussion.
"We put him in there early and we got him going early," said Raiders head coach Tony Sparano. "When you run the ball the way he ran the ball today, he earns more snaps, no doubt about it. We have to see how he comes out of this thing and see what happens in a coupe of days."
Sebastian Janikowski's 40-yard field goal extended Oakland's lead 17-3 in the third quarter. But the Chiefs scored two touchdowns to tie the game 17-17. Smith connected with Anthony Fasano for a 19-yard touchdown and Jamaal Charles for a 30-yard touchdown. Cairo Santos followed with a 25-yard field goal to give Kansas City the lead for the first time. But the Raiders fought back with a late touchdown for the victory.
With seconds on the clock, Smith threw an incomplete pass on fourth down. Prior to that, both Khalil Mack and Sio Moore sacked Smith on third down prompting flags due to celebrating in the back field from both Mack and Moore. An angry Tuck tried to call a quick timeout to avoid the embarrassing act of his younger teammates.
"I was so caught in the moment," Moore said. "That was an error I have to make sure I clean up."
"To go 17 plays on the winning drive, that's impressive, man," said DE Justin Tuck. "That let's you know a little bit of moxie of no. 4 [Carr]."
Carr is no typical rookie quarterback. His poise on the 17-play drive that lasted almost half of the fourth quarter was of no average first year quarterback. Carr's patience and confidence in getting the ball to his receivers showed. And when it got down to a third-and-one forcing him to throw the ball away, Carr picked up the first down on a sneak up the middle. With the mind of a veteran, he depended on himself on risky plays during that 80-yard drive.
"If you don't let the hard times build you up, you're going to fall and crumble quick," DL Antonio Smith said on Carr. "That kid has a big heart, he's always smiling no mater what the outcome. He's always determined to prove to us that he can get it done and he got it done today."