The Las Vegas Raiders traveled back east to play the winless New York Jets and even though highly favorited to get back on track with a win after last weeks blow out loss to Atlanta, this job was not any easier for the silver and black. Henry Ruggs saved the day reeling in a hail mary from the arm of Derek Carr with 13 seconds left to give Las Vegas a 31-28 win.
Plain and simple, a win is a win. Although, Las Vegas looked miserable throughout the ball game. A few stand out plays from Clelin Ferrell, who easily played his best game as a Raider so far in his short two year career. Ferrell had two strip sack fumbles and helped generate a struggling Raiders push rush.
The star of the show though and most consistent player in this game for the Raiders, was tight end Darren Waller. Waller had a whooping 200 yards, off of 13 catches and two touchdowns. Waller was the main target from the jump and he made his presence felt the entire football game. As for other Raiders, the run game was missing Josh Jacobs due to an ankle injury, it is safe to say without him carrying the rock, even after his worst career game last week, it is noticeable he is missed. The Raiders rushed for only 67 yards, while allowing the Jets rushing attack to cut it up for a total of 206 with two rushing touchdowns.
The Jets came to win this game, per usual in the NFL, despite all the “tanking for Trevor” talk in the big apple, losing does get old after a while. New York's defense, which ranks bottom three of the entire NFL, made Derek Carr struggle. Carr and the Raiders should have put up far more points but too many drives stalled out which kept the Jets in the ball game.
Turnovers also came to play a negative factor again for the Raiders offense, seven turnovers in the last two games. In this game, Ruggs had a ball go right through his hands that led to an interception, then later Ruggs fumbled the ball. Both mistakes led to Jet points.
Down by four, Carr underthrew Nelson Agholor in the endzone for the go-ahead touchdown. It had felt as if this ball game was over, with only 1:43 left in the game, Las Vegas did find a way to get the ball back.
New York punted away giving Carr 43 seconds to work with, Carr connected with a strike to Waller, followed by the spike to stop the clock. The very next play, may go down as play of the week across the NFL.
As the pocket collapsed, Carr shifted slightly to his left, Henry Ruggs put a slight hesitation move on the Jets defender, leaving him behind and Carr floated the ball perfectly for Ruggs to run under it and seal the deal.
Ruggs blazing speed is what attracted the Raiders to take him at the 12th pick in this past seasons draft, he showed maturity by taking his lumps, correcting his mistakes and catching the game winning touchdown pass.
Las Vegas moves to 7-5, finding themselves still in the mix for a playoff spot but now the games become much more challenging.
A three game homestand in Las Vegas will start by welcoming the Indianapolis Colts who are 8-4. This is a must win game for the Raiders if they want to make the playoffs for the first time in four years.