LAS VEGAS—After the roller coaster ride the Las Vegas Raiders have suffered this season, the Silver and Black summoned the courage and strength to unite and win a possible make or break game on the road against a very good team. On Thanksgiving, the Raiders upset the Dallas Cowboys in a Turkey Day OT classic, 36-33, the Raiders improve to 6-5 while showing the spirit of the Eternal flame. This was a must win.
The Raiders had dropped three in a row including the previous contest, a 32-13 loss to the Bengals on Sunday, November 21 at Allegiant Stadium. November has been cruel to the Raiders the previous three years, so fans and many in the media wrote them off. With so much talent and determination however, this is a premature assessment.
With their season teetering on the brink of collapse at 5-5, Derek Carr and crew found their rhythm and put-up points. Carr threw for 373 yards, and executed an exciting touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson with no interceptions.
Wide Receiver Hunter Renfrow had a career high eight catches for 134 yards. Running Back Josh Jacobs had 87 yards on the ground. This shootout between Carr and Dallas Cowboys QB Dan Prescott had 38 million Americans tuned in. The highest ratings for a regular season NFL game since 1990.
An essential ingredient to any classic game is controversial moments, and this game had plenty. A pair of brawls which the referees had to break up, and a whopping 14 penalties called against Dallas for 156 yards, culminating in overtime.
On a crucial third down, on the last drive of overtime, Cowboys defensive back Anthony Brown was guilty of his fourth pass interference on the afternoon. A 29-yard field goal by Dylan Carlson kept the Raiders hopes alive at 6-5.
The Raiders won on Thanksgiving for the first time since 1968. “It kind of gave me goose bumps, I’m not going to lie,” said Carr. “When that kick went through, I had a lot of memories as a kid.”
So this victory took the bad taste out of the Raiders mouth when the Bengals had ran all over Allegiant Stadium. It was A gut wrenching loss, but the Raiders showed grit and four days later were right back in the thick of the playoff race with tis gigantic victory over the Cowboys. Next up for the Silver and Black is Washington on Sunday, December 5 at Allegiant, in a rematch of Super Bowl XVIII.