OAKLAND — On a night when Marshawn Lynch got ejected for bumping a referee and a pair of veterans reportedly scuffled on the sidelines, Derek Carr engineered one of his famous fourth-quarter drives, carrying the Oakland Raiders past the Kansas City Chiefs, 31-30.
On the final play from scrimmage, Carr found Michael Crabtree for a two-yard touchdown at the front corner of the end zone.
“I’m really excited for those guys,” head coach Jack Del Rio said after the win, which snaps the club’s four-game slide. “I’m really excited for everyone in that locker room.”
“It’s early in the season, approaching the midway point,” Del Rio continued. “We needed this win [and] we got it.”
Afterwards, Del Rio wore a giant grin as he strode through the locker room, having taken down the Chiefs for the first time during his Raiders tenure.
“Going down to the wire and knowing that the excitement is in the balance, the excitement is something that I just, I just can’t get enough of,” Del Rio explained.
“I just absolutely love it.”
The Raiders nearly tied the game four plays earlier when Jared Cook caught what was initially called a touchdown before it was ruled the tight end was down at the one-yard line. Crabtree was then called for pass interference before the Chiefs drew consecutive holding calls.
Thanks to a wild play, the Chiefs secured a 27-21 lead with 7:04 in the third quarter. Alex Smith found receiver Albert Wilson for a 63-touchdown that had tipped off the fingers of cornerback Keith McGill II.
The Raiders had pulled ahead, 21-20, at the 10:45 mark in the third when DeAndre barged through the guest’s defense for a four-yard score. The touchdown had been set up by an offensive pass interference drawn by Amari Cooper, netting the Raiders 47 yards.
Cooper, absent for the offense for much of the fall, hauled in a pair of first-quarter touchdowns, carrying the Raiders to a 14-10 lead at the end of the opening stanza.
Cooper’s initial touchdown, which marked the receiver’s first score since the club’s Week 1 win back on Sept. 10, was a 38-yard flea flicker from Carr, which capped the opening drive. The second was a 45-yard strike, which gave him 95 yards in the air, surpassing his previous season high after a single quarter.
“It felt great, man,” Cooper said after tallying 210 yards on 11 catches. “It felt great.”
“It’s always a great rivalry and a great game when we play these guys. They’re a tough opponent.”
Corner David Amerson surrendered 97 yards through the air on a three-play, second-quarter drive. The final 64 yards came when Tyreek Hill blazed past Amerson, who ended up on the ground as the Chief darted into the end zone.
Catching a break
On the opening drive of the second quarter, Carr fumbled at the Raiders 22-yard line. Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston recovered the ball, but the Raiders maintained possession after defensive back Eric Murray was called for illegal contact.
Beast Mode out
After totaling nine yards on a pair of first quarter carries, Lynch was left to wander the sideline for much of the second half — until he bolted back onto the field.
With a late hit on Carr sparking a dustup, Lynch burst toward midfield, where he ran into an official and drew an ejection. Lynch appeared to be charging into the fray to protect fellow Oakland native and Chiefs corner Marcus Peters, who’d delivered the hit on Carr.
Left tackle Donald Penn, who raced to his quarterback’s defense, spoke at length about the unusual scene.
“I saw my quarterback on the ground and I saw somebody hit him late,” Penn said. “And I don’t play that sh–. So, my immediate thing was to run over there and get on him.”
“I didn’t know it was [Marcus] Peters at first. But I went over there and got him off [Carr] because the refs weren’t doing their job of protecting my quarterback when his butt was already on the ground when he got hit.”
“So, I ran over there and got him, you know, some other guys got into it. It was a big old commotion there.”
“Then I saw Marshawn. That’s his cousin. Chris Long did that thing to his brother a couple of years ago.”
“Marshawn wasn’t trying to do anything. Man, he was just trying to protect his cousin, get his cousin to the sideline, man. They’re really close. They’re more than cousins. They’re brothers.”
“But he’s got to learn. He’s going to learn from that. Marshawn is smart. He’s going to learn from that and move forward.”
After heading back to the locker room, the running back reportedly watched the game from the stands. Lynch was in the locker room after the game.
Crabtree and Penn engaged in a shoving match on the sideline, forcing the intervention of offensive line coach Mike Tice, according to a report from the CBS broadcast.
Penn was also happy that the underwhelming finally got on track, totaling 505 yards, a season high.
“It felt good, man. I wish it would have happened a couple of weeks ago,” Penn quipped.
Raiders honor ’67 champions with ceremony patch
Just before the kick, the Raiders paid their respects to 50th anniversary of the club’s 1967 American Football League Championship. Players and coaches from the team were honored on the field alongside the original trophy.
Donning all white color rush uniforms, the Raiders also sported commemorative patches.