Oakland, Calif. — A big blown lead, a short week against a rested opponent and a banged-up pinkie for their quarterback.
Right now it seems as if nothing can derail the Raiders.
Derek Carr came back from his injury to lead another fourth-quarter comeback and the Raiders won their fifth straight game, beating the Panthers 35-32 on Sunday.
“The mood was we’ve been here before,” Carr said. “You don’t like having been here before. But there was no doubt in my mind we could move the ball and win and score. There’s never a doubt.”
Carr threw for 315 yards and two touchdowns despite missing a series after the injury, leading the Raiders (9-2) back from an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter to clinch their first winning season since 2002.
After leading a game-tying drive earlier in the fourth quarter, Carr hit Michael Crabtree on a 49-yard pass on third-and-9 from the 14 to help set up Sebastian Janikowski’s 23-yard field goal with 1:45 left that gave Oakland the lead.
Cam Newton led the Panthers (4-7) into Oakland territory on the final drive but Greg Olsen dropped a pass on third down that would have put Carolina in field goal range.
“I just couldn’t quite get both my hands up there high enough, and it kind of went off the end of my finger,” Olsen said. “I’d like to have that one back obviously, that’s usually a play that I make.”
Khalil Mack stripped Newton on a fourth-down sack to seal the win.
“You want to end the game at that point,” Mack said. “We needed a stop, we needed a stop. That was me.”
The Panthers scored the first 25 points in the second half after Carr left the game when he hurt his right pinkie while fumbling a snap on the second play from scrimmage in the third quarter.
Kansas City 30, (at) Denver 27: Cairo Santos’ 34-yard field goal hit the left upright and bounced through as time expired to give the Chiefs a victory over the Broncos.That avoided the third tie in the NFL this season, something that hasn’t happened since 1973 before the league introduced overtime.
The winner followed a risky move by Broncos coach Gary Kubiak, who sent his kicker out for a 62-yard try with 1:01 left only to see Brandon McManus come up short.
That gave the Chiefs possession at the Denver 48 with one timeout and just over a minute remaining. The Chiefs reached the Denver 16 before Santos ended the snoozer-turned-thriller in perfect fashion. Even his teammates hesitated as they ran out to celebrate, unsure if the ball had clanked through or not.
The Chiefs (8-3) kept up with the Oakland Raiders (9-2) in the AFC West race and the Broncos (7-4) could find themselves fighting for a wild card now.
New England 22, (at) N.Y. Jets 17: Tom Brady threw a go-ahead 8-yard touchdown pass to Malcolm Mitchell with 1:56 left for the Patriots.
Trailing 17-16 with 5:04 left and the ball on the Patriots 17, Brady completed six passes on the drive. After James White stretched for 4 yards on fourth-and-4, a 25-yard catch by Chris Hogan put the ball at the 8. Brady then zipped a pass to Mitchell to put the Patriots (9-2) ahead.
It was the 500th win in franchise history for the Patriots, who became the first original AFL franchise to reach the mark.
N.Y. Giants 27, (at) Cleveland 13: Eli Manning threw two touchdown passes to Odell Beckham Jr., Jason Pierre-Paul returned a fumble for a TD, and the Giants extended their winning streak to six, keeping the Browns winless.
Manning had three TD passes for the Giants (8-3).
Manning threw a 32-yard TD pass to Beckham in the second quarter and added a 4-yarder to himwith 5:10 left to put away the Browns (0-12).
Cleveland has lost 15 in a row since last season.
(At) Atlanta 38, Arizona 19: Taylor Gabriel took two short passes for touchdowns for the Falcons.
Gabriel, cut by the winless Browns before the season, scored on plays of 35 and 25 yards.
The Falcons (7-4) moved a step closer to their first playoff berth since 2012. The Cardinals (4-6-1) have lost two straight.
Coach Bruce Arians was on the sideline after falling ill and being briefly hospitalized early in the week.
San Diego 21, (at) Houston 13: Philip Rivers threw for 242 yards and three touchdowns, and Dontrelle Inman had 119 yards receiving and a touchdown for San Diego (5-6).
The Texans (6-5) lost in Houston for the first time this season after winning their first five here. Playing a large part were four turnovers, including three interceptions by Brock Osweiler.
Tennessee 27, (at) Chicago 21: Marcus Mariota threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns, and the Titans hung on to beat the depleted Bears.
The Titans (6-6) gave their playoff hopes a boost, though they watched as Chicago (2-9) cut a 20-point lead to six in the fourth quarter. The Titans moved a half-game out of first place in the AFC South.
(At) Miami 31, San Francisco 24: Former Lion Ndamukong Suh tackled Colin Kaepernick 2 yards short of the goal line as time ran out, and the Dolphins handed the 49ers a franchise-record 10th consecutive loss.
Ryan Tannehill threw for 285 yards and three scores.
The Dolphins (7-4) extended their winning streak to six games, their longest since 2005. Kaepernick passed for three TDs, but the 49ers (1-10) still haven’t won since the season opener.
(At) Baltimore 19, Cincinnati 14: Justin Tucker kicked four field goals for Baltimore.
Joe Flacco threw for 234 yards and a touchdown to help Baltimore (6-5) end a five-game losing streak against the Bengals (3-7-1).
(At) Buffalo 28, Jacksonville 21: LeSean McCoy scored twice, including a career-best 75-yard run.
Tyrod Taylor’s 16-yard touchdown pass to Justin Hunter with 10:46 remaining put the Bills ahead for good during a second half in which the teams traded the lead five times. Taylor also scored on a 7-yard run in helping keep Buffalo in the playoff hunt.
The Bills (6-5) won for the second straight week when trailing at halftime.