Miracles within the Meadows: Raiders Beat Jets on the late Henry Ruggs TD – Las Vegas Raiders Weblog
Among the many mottos that Al Davis has anchored in the DNA of the Las Vegas Raiders was a variation on it: It doesn’t matter how ugly it looks, as long as you win. Yes, it’s a twist on his more iconic “Just win, baby” tagline. At MetLife Stadium it was more than appropriate against a winning and rudderless New York Jets team.
After a record day against Darren Waller and a miracle of a 46-yard touchdown pass from Derek Carr to Henry Ruggs III by five seconds, the Raiders scored a 31:28 win that ended a two-game streak – and had many Raiders fans consistently know.
Las Vegas improved to 7-5 and remains firmly in the AFC playoff race as the season nears the quarter pole. The Raiders won against the Jets for the first time since 1996 in New York, ending a streak of six losses.
The raiders control their fate. Next up are three home games, including two against the Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins as the Raiders battle for a place in the playoffs.
All you need this week:
• Full schedule »| Ranking list »
• Depth maps for each team »
• Transactions »| Injuries »
• Ranking of the Football Power Index »
More NFL coverage »
Describe the game in two words: Oh my. Things looked tricky early on for the Raiders as the offensive couldn’t get the game in progress and the defense couldn’t stall, but the defensive end Clelin Ferrell was almost as unstoppable as he stormed the quarterback as Waller did after the catch and normality prevailed.
Buy a breakout performance: Waller was almost unstoppable. He had a career height of 200 yards and two touchdowns under his 13 catches. These are the most close-end receiving yards in franchise history and the first time a close-end has had 100 receiving yards and two TDs in the first half of a game since Jordan Reed in Week 16 of the 2015 season.
Worrying trend: The Raiders lacked the safety of Johnathan Abram and cornerback Damon Arnette lost in the second game of the day to his second concussion in as many weeks, but Jet quarterback Sam Darnold carved early and often. After Darnold hadn’t thrown a TD pass since week 3, he had two TD passes in the first half. In addition, the jets hit the raiders on the ground and walked 206 meters. Defending the Raiders – or the lack of them – is still an issue for a team that introduces itself as a playoff contender.
QB breakdown: Carr looked uncomfortable at best and, at worst, rattled through a better than advertised jet pass rush. He threw passports in the fourth quarter. That day, Carr finished 28-of-47 for 381 yards and three TD passes with an interception that cut off Ruggs’ hands. Carr also ran one from 2 meters to give the Raiders a 24-13 lead in the middle of the third quarter. But it was the bomb for Ruggs that gave the Raiders victory. It was Carr’s 23rd career winning ride, ranking second in the NFL since the start of the 2014 season (Matthew Stafford has 26 such rides).
Key point: Ruggs’ fumble close to midfield after a 12-yard catch with less than nine minutes of play and the Raiders by 24-21. Ruggs was stripped by cornerback Javelin Guidry, who prevented Ruggs from regaining the ball, which was in keeping with Jet’s safety Marcus Maye. The Jets converted sales into a touchdown to create a 28-24 advantage at 5:34. However, the play only later led to Ruggs’ exploits.