Raiders get late TD pass, defensive stop to beat Lions 31-24
DETROIT – Derek Carr threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to rookie Hunter Renfrow with 2:04 remaining and Karl Joseph broke up a fourth-down pass in the end zone with 3 seconds left to give the Raiders a 31-24 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday in their first game back in Oakland in seven weeks.
After surviving an odyssey that forced them to travel about 20,000 miles for four road games and a neutral site game in London, the Raiders (4-4) came back home for the first time since losing to Kansas City on Sept. 15. They put on quite a show for the fans who are hoping the Raiders can put together a successful season before their planned move to Las Vegas next year.
Carr’s clutch pass to Renfrow gave Oakland the win to start the crucial three-game homestand. Carr also connected with rookie Foster Moreau on a 3-yard score opening seconds of the fourth quarter and another rookie, Josh Jacobs, ran for 120 yards and two scores. It was the first time since the merger that the Raiders got four TDs from rookies in a single game.
Matthew Stafford threw for 406 yards and three touchdowns but came up short at the end as the Lions (3-4-1) lost for the fourth time in five games.
Stafford moved Detroit down to the 1 in the closing seconds. On the Lions final play, he threw the ball up for tight end Logan Thomas but Joseph was there to prevent the catch, sealing the victory for the Raiders.
Carr threw for 289 yards and connected on passes of 31 and 23 yards to Jalen Richard on the game-winning drive. Then with Oakland facing a third down, Carr scrambled to extend the play before finding Renfrow in the front corner of the end zone.
The offenses dominated the first three quarters with neither team punting during that stretch. The Raiders went ahead 24-17 on Carr’s 3-yard TD pass to rookie Foster Moreau in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter.
Both teams then traded punts over the next four possessions before Stafford and the Lions struck back with a 26-yard touchdown pass to J.D. McKissic that tied the game with 5:16 remaining.
TURN IT OVER
The Raiders capitalized on two turnovers in the first half to take a 17-14 lead. Maurice Hurst recovered a botched handoff from Stafford to McKissic on Detroit’s opening drive and Oakland turned that into a 68-yard TD drive capped by Jacobs’ 2-yard run.
Daryl Worley then intercepted a pass by Worley in the end zone with the Lions looking to build on a 14-10 lead. Oakland drove 80 yards and scored on Jacobs’ 3-yard run to make it 17-14 at the half.
Jacobs had another strong performance and broke Marcus Allen’s franchise rookie record for rushing on a 16-yard run late in the first half. Jacobs now has 740 yards rushing through eight games, breaking the mark of 697 set by Allen in the nine-game, strike-shortened 1982 season.
Stafford’s 59-yard TD pass to Kenny Golladay in the second quarter gave him 255 TDs in his career, passing Hall of Famer Dan Fouts for 20th place in NFL history. Stafford also passed Drew Brees for the third most yards passing in his first 11 seasons with 41,205 .
Raiders RT Trent Brown hurt his knee on the opening drive. He tried to come back on the second drive before leaving once again and not returning.
Lions: Visit Chicago on Sunday.
Raiders: Host the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday night.
ORIGINAL STORY: Previewing Lions vs. Raiders: Keys to a Detroit win
Detroit is looking to win a second straight game while the Raiders are hoping to rebound after a tough loss against the Houston Texans. This should be a close game between two evenly matched teams.
Let’s look at Oakland’s key players, headlines going into the game and then talk about what the Lions need to do to win.
Derek Carr, QB (#4): Derek Carr might not be thought of as a top QB in the league, but he is talented. He can make plays against a Lions’ defense that has allowed passers lots of time this season. He has 11 TDs to 4 INTs and is completing 72% of his passes this season. That completion percentage is one of the higher numbers in the league.
Josh Jacobs, RB (#28): Jacobs is having a great rookie year so far. He’s 6th in rushing yards in the NFL and looks like he could be one of the NFL’s next premier running backs.
Darren Waller, TE (#83): Waller leads the Raiders in receiving this year. He averages almost 7 catches per game. Waller could get some favorable matchups as it looks like the Lions will be shorthanded at safety.
Tahir Whitehead, LB (#59): The former Lion is leading the Raiders in tackles this season.
Offenses are up: Both teams come into this game led by their offenses. The Raiders are 7th in rushing in the NFL and Derek Carr is playing at a high level with some relatively unknown receivers.
The Lions’ offense has picked things up the last couple of games as Matthew Stafford is arguably playing the best he ever has.
Defenses are down: Both teams’ defenses are not playing so well. Oakland has not been good against the pass, neither have the Lions. Both teams have struggled against play action and have not forced much pressure.
Playoff implications: This is a big game in determining how the rest of the season goes for both teams. The Raiders' last 5 games have been away from home, so they’ll be eager to put on a good showing and get that home win. Both teams need a win to make a playoff push look more like a possibility.
Keys for a Lions win
Play balanced on defense: The Lions’ defense has done a good job of stopping the run the last two weeks, but they’ve been letting up way too many yards through the air. Part of that is because they haven’t gotten a pass rush, but they still need to be better.
The Lions face one of the NFL’s better run teams this weekend which will take a lot of effort to stop. But they also need to make sure they don’t let up so many yards passing.
Throw the ball: Matthew Stafford and the Lions’ offense has passed the ball very well the last two games. The Lions have had to throw and throw often to win, and they’ll have to do it again Sunday as Oakland has one of the NFL’s better run defenses. The Raiders do struggle against the pass as they’re the league’s 30th ranked pass defense, so the Lions should be able to move the ball through the air Sunday.
3rd down success: Detroit and Oakland are two of the better teams in the NFL in terms of third down conversion rate. The Lions are going to need to pick up 3rd downs and score in the . They’ll also need to make some 3rd down stops on defense to try and slow down Oakland’s offense because this game could be a shootout.
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