In 2017, we saw three different sides of the Raiders. The good, the bad, and the ugly. These three highlighted games illustrate that.
Good: Week 7 – Raiders 31, Chiefs 30
Riding a four game losing streak, the 2-4 Raiders hosted the 5-1 Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday Night Football. The Raiders beat the Chiefs 31-30, on the game’s second untimed down, when Derek Carr hit Michael Crabtree at the front corner pylon for a two-yard touchdown. In a game filled with offensive explosion and authority, the victory gave people around the organization hope that the season was not over just yet. As a result, this game resides in history as one for the ages.
Amari Cooper found his stride for the first time in 2017. Cooper caught 11 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns. In addition, Jared Cook amassed 107 yards on six receptions. Derek Carr threw for 417 yards and three TD’s. The offense delivered their best output of the season and cut the Chiefs division lead to two games.
Bad: Week 15 – Cowboys 20, Raiders 17
Playing for their playoff lives, the Raiders lost a heartbreaker to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night football, 20-17. Consequently, the loss eliminated Oakland from the playoff picture and ended any chance for a winning record in 2017. The Raiders, led by Crabtree’s two touchdowns, were eight yards away from winning this game in Arlington. Unfortunately, with 39 second left, Carr scrambled and reached for the pylon but fumbled the ball out of the end zone. That gave the Cowboys a touchback and the ball back; giving Head Coach Jason Garrett a big win to keep their playoff hopes alive one more week. Meanwhile, the Nation sat in stunned silence.
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The defense had a strong game; intercepting Dak Prescott twice and sacking him two times (both by Khalil Mack). However, the defensive effort was lost in this one.
Ugly: Week 8 – Bills 34, Raiders 14
The Raiders suffered in plenty of games this season that could have made the “ugly” game. The stomping in Mexico City to the Patriots was bad and the last game of the season versus the Chargers ended the season on a sour note, the winner for this section was the game against the Bills. Plus, the team just beat the first place Chiefs the week before, former Head Coach Jack Del Rio had an extra three days to prepare his team for this game. Yet, it did not matter though, as the Raiders lost to the Bills 34-14.
The Bills manhandled the Raiders, especially on the ground. The man they call “Shady”, LeSean McCoy ran for 151 yards and one touchdown. Former Raider, Andre Homes, got in the end zone for the Bills in the second quarter. What made matters worse in this game was how the team played in the second half. The offense opened the second half with two horrible turnovers, one by Jalen Richard, and the other by Carr, which pretty much summed up the season for the Raiders.