Top 5 takeaways from Raiders' 30-24 OT win over Bucs
Raiders sweep in Florida
The Raiders had another happy flight home from a long stay in Florida, one where they practiced in Sarasota for a week between victories over Jacksonville and Tampa Bay, respectively. Sunday’s 30-24 triumph over the Buccaneers featured another dramatic finish, where the Raiders erased a fourth-quarter deficit with late heroics, held strong defensively and found a way to win in overtime.
Head coach Jack Del Rio was smart to stay in the Sunshine State between two key wins and now heads home a 6-2, armed with a 5-0 road record for the first time since 1977 and a team galvanized by extra time together. A massive Sunday-night clash against Denver awaits next week, in the biggest game in Oakland over the past decade...
5. Mack’s back after slow start
Khalil Mack easily had his best game of the season against Tampa Bay, with a dominant showing from start to finish. He had seven tackles, two sacks, four quarterback hits and a forced fumble, creating constant pressure up front that hindered Tampa Bay’s effectiveness moving downfield.
Mack started slow but has turned it on in recent weeks, with four sacks in the last three weeks. It’s the second time in his career he’s had at least one sack over three straight games.
4. Del Rio turning red over so much yellow
The Raiders set an NFL record they didn’t want on Sunday, with 23 penalties going against them. It added up to 200 yards, the third highest total in NFL history. The Raiders gave Tampa Bay six of their 18 first downs by penalty, including three on third down on the same touchdown drive. Del Rio was particularly upset about pre-snap flags, illegal formations and substitution issues on defense, where the Raiders had 12 men on the field twice and just nine on a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter.
This wasn’t an isolated incident. The Raiders lead the league in penalties this season, and while they’ve survived making mistakes, that won’t fly against better teams. That’s especially true against Denver next week.
3. Set up for playoff push
The Raiders completed the season’s first half in fine form, with a 6-2 mark that has them in a tie for first place in the AFC West. The schedule gets a bit harder from here, with five remaining games against teams that made the playoffs last year. They’ve set themselves up so well that they’ll only have to go .500 down the home stretch to reach a 10-win mark likely good enough for a wild card berth and their first playoff appearance since 2002. They’d like to win a loaded AFC West, meaning they must perform well over four remaining division games and continue stacking wins as the season carries forward.
2. Clutch play Raiders trademark
Fourth-quarter comebacks have become a staple for this team this season, with so much early success in the clutch that they enter pressure-packed situations confident in their ability to secure wins. Despite being down late, the Raiders seemed sure they’d pull out another victory and did so with a game-tying touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter and the game winner in overtime. They execute well when it matters most, and have overcome in-game obstacles to win the hard way.
Clutch performance will be viewed as the team’s defining characteristic if this solid run continues and the reason why the Raiders were able to turn things around after so long without a winning season.
1. Carr has arrived
We can stop all the potential talk when it comes to quarterback Derek Carr. He has become one of the league’s best quarterbacks at just 25 years old, one cool customer with the game on the line and someone who has thrived in coordinator Bill Musgrave’s scheme. Carr has been smart and efficient this year and said he doesn’t want to be known as a young quarterback, just a good one. He was great on Sunday, and set a franchise mark with 513 passing yards and also had four touchdowns and no picks, and said he started to tear up after hearing about the record. Carr cares about wins and playing great.
His best statistic is this one: Carr has conducted seven fourth-quarter/overtime drives to win a game, which is tied for the NFL lead. The Raiders are dangerous because their quarterback keeps them in every game, and he also wins them with excellent play at the end.