Ruggs rebounds as Raiders fend off Jets
First round draft pick Henry Ruggs overcame a tough day as he scored the game-winning touchdown to help Las Vegas avoid a three-game losing streak.
The Raiders beat the New York Jets, 31-28, at MetLife Stadium Sunday, Dec. 6.
It marks the first win on the road against the Jets for the Vegas franchise since 1996.
In addition, the Raiders improved their road record to 5-2.
Mathematically, the win keeps Las Vegas in contention for winning the AFC West which is now led by the Kansas City Chiefs at 10-1.
The Chiefs will host the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football, needing a win to secure a spot in the playoffs.
However, with the Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts all winning, the Raiders have slid to the eighth spot, just outside of the expanded playoff bracket.
Vegas did increase it’s playoff chances from 47 percent to 49 percent after the win at New York and currently sit just ahead of Baltimore, who hosts Dallas Tuesday, Dec. 8.
Next week, the Raiders host the Colts with a chance to slide back into the seventh spot in the conference.
Vegas already owns a road victory over Cleveland.
Ruggs caught three passes for 84 yards and the game-winning 46-yard touchdown with five seconds left in regulation.
New York defensive coordinator Gregg Williams elected to call an all-out blitz with Vegas needing a touchdown, leaving his secondary one-on-one with the Raider receivers.
In the first quarter, the rookie wide receiver had a pass bounce off of his hands and landed in the arms of Jets’ cornerback Arthur Maulet.
In the fourth quarter, Ruggs reeled in his second catch of the day for 12 yards on a third and three but had the ball knocked free by safety Marcus Maye.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr went 28-for-47, throwing for 381 yards, three touchdowns and that first quarter interception.
It marked the third straight game where he threw an interception after starting the season with two through the first 10 weeks.
Coming into Week 13, Carr was tied for the third fewest interceptions in the league.
This season, he has thrown for over 3,000 yards with 22 touchdowns and five interceptions.
Carr had a chance to take the lead with just under two minutes left in the game but was forced to go for it on fourth down after a failed third and three.
The Raiders went 6-for-14 on third down conversions after coming into the game third in the league with a 49 percent conversion rate.
On a fourth and three, Carr found wide receiver Hunter Renfrow for a nine-yard touchdown, however, offsetting holding penalties forced a replay of down.
Vegas turned the ball over on downs.
Tight end Darren Waller bounced back from being held in check by the Atlanta Falcons last week and tallied a career-high 200 yards on 13 catches, scoring twice.
As a team, the Raiders rushed for 72 yards while allowing the Jets to run for 206 without starter Frank Gore, who left the game with a concussion in the first quarter.
The team was playing without starting running back Josh Jacobs who was third in the NFL in carries and fifth in rushing yards.
Backup running back Devontae Booker rushed for 50 yards on 16 carries in his first career start for Vegas.
New York scored 15 fourth quarter points to take a four-point lead prior to Vegas’ game-winning drive.
In the second quarter, the Jets held a 13-7 lead before turnovers shifted momentum.
Defensive end Clelin Ferrell got into the backfield and forced a strip-sack with the Raiders down 13-7.
That drive-ending play would result in a Las Vegas field goal on the other end.
Cornerback Trayvon Mullen snagged an interception on the next drive which would lead to the Raiders taking the 17-13 lead.
Right before halftime, Ferrell got past the offensive line again and strip-sacked Darnold for a second time in about seven minutes.
However, Carr was sacked on second and third down on the ensuing drive and Vegas would head into halftime with that four-point lead.
Carr has been sacked 19 times through the first 12 games of the season.
The defense was playing without safety Johnathan Abram and defensive tackle Maliek Collins, who was placed on injury-reserved.
Vegas also lost first round draft pick Damon Arnette junior in the first quarter to a concussion.