Raiders quarterback Derek Carr threw Oakland (4-3) into early playoff contention with 333 yards, 4 touchdowns, and a victory over the New York Jets, 34-20.

Under the steady hand of Carr, Oakland’s offense gashed the highly rated Jets defense early in the game, with three touchdowns on the team’s 1st three possessions.  The Raiders had 232 yards on 25 plays in those 3 drives, for an average of 9.3 yards per play.

Latavius Murray and the running game had a fabulous day against the number one run defense in the league. The young RB out of Central Florida had 113 yards on 20 carries, with a long of 26 yards.

In fact it was a day of big plays for Oakland.  Michael Crabtree had a 36 yard TD catch and run, Andre Holmes added a 49 yard catch for a TD on a bomb from Carr, and Taiwan Jones joined the fun with an impressive 59 yard jaunt after a short completion from the Raiders’ young QB.  Crabtree led the way with 7 receptions and 102 yards. Amari Cooper chipped in with 5 catches for 46 yards.

Oakland didn’t even have to punt the football until 7:44 of the 4th quarter.

The Raiders defense had 3 sacks, 7 QB hits, and 9 tackles for loss.  Jets starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was knocked out of the game early by a Charles Woodson tackle while running for a first down.  Backup Geno Smith took over and went on to pass for 265 yards, 2 TD’s and an interception.

This is a corner turned for the Raiders franchise.  Oakland now sits in the first Wild Card spot in the AFC, and seems to improve every week.  The weapons on offense are abundant, and the defense is stuffing the run and doing just enough in the secondary.

Next up for Coach Jack Del Rio’s bunch is a trip to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers, who are 4-4 and need a win desperately to keep pace in the AFC playoff race.  This is rarefied air for the Raiders’ organization over the last decade plus, but none of the coaches or players seem to know anything about that.

The Jets meanwhile are still in the thick of the AFC race, and await news on injured QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. New York (4-3) next faces the Jaguars at home on November 8th.

 

Luke Straub

on twitter@abso_luke_ly

Spark Sports NFL Analyst

 

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