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Oakland Raiders

Raiders Review | Making sense of season saving win over Chiefs

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 01: Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) walks off the field during the Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos football game on October 1, 2017 at Sports Authority Field in Denver, CO. (Photo by Kyle Emery/Icon Sportswire)
(Kyle Emery/Icon Sportswire)

We try to make sense of a punch-drunk, 31-30, Oakland Raiders’ win over the first-place Kansas City Chiefs to break a four-game losing streak and to improve to 3-4:

Why it happened: If you didn’t see it, I’m not sure I can explain it. And if you didn’t see it, slap yourself in the face and go find the highlight of this one. It’s still in the afterglow, but I’m not sure I’ve seen anything like this in a while. The game appeared to be over on five straight plays. Five. In the end, Derek Carr hit Michael Crabtree on a short touchdown push with time expired. Raiders 31. Chiefs 30. The Chiefs fell to 5-2. Oakland is two games out.

What it all means: It means everything to the Raiders. It would have been devastating for Oakland to lose this game at the goal line and to lose five straight games. This was Oakland’s third home game in 11 days. It had to win. The Raiders offense awakened in the game as well. All of Oakland’s problems are not fixed, but this team has some good vibes and a heartbeat. For the moment, that’s all that matters.

Cooper has monster game: The biggest individual impact was made by Oakland receiver Amari Cooper. He broke out of a 14-game slump in a big way. Cooper had 11 catches for 210 yards and two touchdowns. If Cooper’s slump was over, that will be the second biggest thing that happened Thursday night next to the win.

Bowman starts: New Oakland middle linebacker NaVorro Bowman started, as expected. He even had the communication equipment in his helmet. Bowman is now the quarterback of this defense. He was just OK. Well, he was what Bowman, who was cut by San Francisco six days ago, is these days. He was decent against the run and he struggled in pass coverage.

Lynch ejected, teammates tangle:  In one of the weirder scenes of the NFL season and a story that is not over, Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch was ejected in the second quarter after he contacted an official. Making matters worse, Lynch was not part of the play. He ran from the Oakland sideline to get to Kansas City cornerback Marcus Peters, who is a close family friend. Peters was fighting with an Oakland lineman after Peters hit Derek Carr late. Lynch reportedly dressed and left the stadium before halftime. Another report later stated he was watching from the stands. He was seen in the locker room by reporters after the game. Lynch is subject to an automatic $30,000-plus fine and he could face a suspension for coming onto the field. Lynch’s time as a Raider hasn’t been productive. He has had one good game, but otherwise, he has been disappointing. His actions may cost him six-plus quarters. Also, CBS reported that Oakland left tackle Donald Penn and receiver Michael Crabtree pushed and shoved each other on the sidelines and had to be separated by offensive line coach Mike Tice.

Emergency room: Cornerback David Amerson suffered a foot injury. It thrust forgotten $9.5 million-man Sean Smith into action in the third quarter.

What’s next: The Raiders will head to Buffalo to start a long road trip. The Raiders will play in Miami in Week 9. Oakland will stay on the East Coast. Last year, Oakland did the same when it played at Jacksonville and Tampa Bay. Oakland went 2-0 on that trip. They need to replicate that experience.

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