Four months removed from joint practices and the preseason finale, Bill Belichick, Josh McDaniels and a long line of connections met again at Allegiant Stadium.
The Las Vegas Raiders outlasted the New England Patriots there on Sunday, 30-24, after a toe-dragging touchdown gave way to a lateral and a recovery for another as time expired.
Here’s a glance back as the AFC East visitors return home with a 7-7 record and dwindling wild-card playoff hopes.
Jones goes 13-of-31 passing as New England’s No. 1 wideout returns
New England’s first drive featured a first down. The next drive spanned seven minutes before ending at the goal line as a timeout and a false start both wiped out six. And the next brought an overthrow, a delay of game, a drop and a punt.
Mac Jones finished 13-of-31 passing for 112 yards on Sunday. But the sophomore quarterback had his top wide receiver back in the route tree. The presence of Jakobi Meyers, who missed consecutive starts while in the NFL’s concussion protocol, led to two drawn penalties as well as pivotal moments for both sides in the final frame.
One catch for 39 yards set up a two-point conversion and a 24-17 lead over Las Vegas that soon became 24-24. And yet a backwards pass at midfield set up the difference. Former Patriots first-round pick Chandler Jones picked the football up from 48 yards away as time expired in regulation.
Barmore back into the pass-rushing rotation against Carr
As offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn headed to injured reserve on the eve of the 4:05 p.m. ET kickoff, defensive tackle Christian Barmore returned from it. Another layer of pass rush was the result on Sunday. The 2021 second-round pick out of Alabama checked in by the second snap of the Raiders’ opening drive. From there, he had a hand three tackles, a penalty-negated hit as well as a sack split with the reigning AFC Defensive Player of the Week.
Fellow defensive tackles Lawrence Guy and Davon Godchaux shared the first sack. But the pressure that didn’t hit home left a mark. That was illustrated on zone blitzes. That was illustrated as defensive backs fired from the slot on third downs that became incompletions. And that was also illustrated as outside linebacker Josh Uche bent by left tackle Kolton Miller on a takedown by inside linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr went 20-of-38 passing for 231 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. His final throw went to wide receiver Keelan Cole. From 30 yards out, and after further review, it tied the game at 24-24 with 32 seconds left in regulation.