After a week out west, the New England Patriots (7-7) will return home after a crushing last-second defeat to the Las Vegas Raiders.
Following a questionable touchdown to tie the game in the last minute, New England took over in a tie game. On the last play of the game, a lateral ended up in the hands of Vegas’ Chandler Jones who took it all the way to the end zone for a game winning score.
Here’s everything that went down in Vegas on Sunday.
Sunday, December 18, 4:05 p.m. ET | Allegiant Stadium, Paradise, NV | Broadcast information | Inactives
The Patriots won the coin toss and deferred, putting Derek Carr and the Raiders offense on the field first. After picking up a first-down, cornerback Marcus Jones showcased his recovery speed by catching up to DeVante Adams and breaking up a deep pass. Las Vegas then turned to Josh Jacobs, as the league’s leading rusher broke off an 18-yard run to cross midfield. An 11-yard completion to Adams moved the chains again for Vegas. A pair of penalties then set the Raiders back, but Daniel Carlson knocked home a 49-yard field goal. [Patriots 0 : 3 Raiders]
New England’s offense started strong as Mac Jones found Jonnu Smith on their first play from scrimmage for an 11-yard gain. Things then stalled, however, as Kevin Harris – who drew the start at running back – was stuffed for a two-yard gain and Jones fired two incompletions.
Carr found tight end Foster Moreau for eight yards to start Las Vegas’ second drive, as Jacobs then picked up a first-down on the next play. Another penalty then set the Raiders back and they were forced to punt three plays after.
Rhamondre Stevenson picked up nine yards on the ground on to kickoff New England’s next drive, as Jones then hit Pierre Strong Jr. on a quick hitter to then pick up the first down. Facing a third-and-12 shortly after, Jones had plenty of time to hit Tyquan Thornton over the middle of the field for 21 yards. The Patriots offense continued to move the ball as Strong broke off a 14-yard run and Jones hit Smith over the middle for an additional 13 yards. Down then inside the five-yard line, things started to derail for New England. Jones misfired to Smith in the end zone and then a touchdown to Meyers was brought back after New England called a timeout. Jones then appeared to score on a QB sneak on fourth down, but a false start cancelled that score. The Patriots then were forced to settle for a field goal. [Patriots 3 : 3 Raiders]
Back with the ball, Derek Carr got to work finding DeVante Adams on first down for nine yards and shortly hitting Keelan Cole for 20 yards several plays later. Two plays later, Carr improvised while under pressure and flipped a pass to Jacobs who then picked up 11 yards. Another penalty then pushed Vegas back, but they were able to recover as Carr found Darren Waller up the seam for a 25-yard touchdown. [Patriots 3 : 10 Raiders]
Trailing by a score, New England’s offense had nothing going for them. Another operational penalty moved them back five yards, then Jones overthrew an open Jakobi Meyers up the seam. On third-down, a quick pass was dropped by Kendrick Bourne forcing a punt.
New England’s defense delivered their best run downs of the game, holding Jacobs to two yards on two carries. On third-down, pressure by Ja’Whaun Bentley forced Carr into a throwaway.
With just over two minutes remaining in the half, Stevenson rumbled his way for 17 yards to start the Patriots next drive. That was all the success the unit found. After a false start penalty on third-down, Jones’ check down to Henry was short of the sticks. Disaster then struck for New England, as the punt was snapped with the protection crew not ready and blocked.
After the punt block, the Raiders took over at the New England 20-yard line with 27 seconds left in the half. Carr found Mack Hollins for a 10-yard gain before an illegal contact penalty on Jonathan Jones set up Vegas at the 10-yard line. Two plays later, the Raiders capitalized on the punt block as Carr found Hollins for a score. [Patriots 3 : 17 Raiders]
Mac Jones took a knee to end the half.
The Patriots started the second half with the ball trailing 17-3. They turned to Stevenson early as the back picked up 16 yards on three early carries. Chandler Jones then knocked down a Mac Jones pass (which looked like a downfield RPO) at the line of scrimmage and his third-down pass downfield to Meyers fell incomplete. New England then punted.
New England’s defense continued to give the Patriots life, as Kyle Dugger perfectly red and jumped on Derek Carr’s screen pass to Adams. He intercepted the pass and took it to the house for a score. [Patriots 10 : 17 Raiders]
After the pick-six, New England’s defense backed Vegas into a third-and-13 but Carr delivered a strike to Hunter Renfrow over the middle of the field for a conversion. Shortly after, Lawerence Guy worked his way into the backfield to sack Carr to set up another third-and-long. A completion to Moreau came up short of the sticks, forcing a punt.
Starting at the two-yard line after a strong special teams play by Mack Hollins, Rhamondre Stevenson broke off a 25-yard run on New England’s first play from scrimmage. Following a pair of runs by the back, Jones delivered a perfect ball downfield to Nelson Agholor who appeared to haul it in for 32 yards, but the play was challenged and overturned. After a pair of first downs were picked up by the rookie backs, New England was forced to settle for a field goal. [Patriots 13 : 17 Raiders]
A big return from the Raiders was negated due to a block in the back penalty, setting them up at their own nine-yard line. From there, New England’s defense continued their hot streak as pressure forced an incompletion on second-down and Carr was sacked by Bentley on third-down. They punted back to New England.
Beginning their next possession at midfield, New England picked up a first-down due to an illegal contact penalty. The Raiders’ pass rush duo of Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones then made their impact forcing a pair of errant throws from Jones. Nick Folk then hit a 54-yard field goal to bring New England within one. [Patriots 16 : 17 Raiders]
Three straight runs by Josh Jacobs picked up a first-down to start the Raiders drive. Things that went backwards after a delay of game and sack by Josh Uche. On third-and-17, a quick pass led to a punt.
A four-yard rush by Pierre Strong was the first play of New England’s drive. Mac then aired it out downfield to Agholor, but the pass was a tad under thrown and broken up by Amik Robertson. On third-down, a pass to Hunter Henry was slightly behind him but dropped. New England punted back to Las Vegas.
Penalties continued to plague Las Vegas, as a false start penalty on first-down pushed them behind the sticks. The Raiders were not able to overcome the deficit, as Carr’s third-down check down to Ameer Abdullah was a yard short of a first-down.
Looking for their first offensive score of the day, New England turned to their two most reliable skill players. Jones finally struck one up the seam to Jakobi Meyers for a 39-yard catch and run. The very next play, Rhamondre Stevenson broke one 34 yards to the house for the go ahead touchdown. New England then added a two-point conversion as Jones lofted one to Meyers in the end zone. [Patriots 24 : 17 Raiders]
Now trailing, Derek Carr and the Raiders were not able to capitalize on open opportunities. On second-down, Carr over shot an open Mack Hollins deep downfield. The next play, a miscommunication of sorts ended with Waller failing to haul in a pass that was intended for an open DeVante Adams. They then punted back to New England.
With just over three minutes remaining, the Patriots kept the ball on the ground to force Vegas into using their timeouts. On third-down, they attempted a naked boot leg with Jones but Maxx Crosby was not fooled. New England then punted.
Derek Carr fired three straight incompletions, Carr connected with Mack Hollins on fourth-down for a 12-yard conversion. He then again found Hollins for 13 more yards and then hit Waller for a 20-yard gain shortly after. With 37 seconds remaining, Keelan Cole hauled in a 30-yard touchdown. Even though he appeared out of bounds, the ruling on the field stood. [Patriots 24 : 24 Raiders]
New England’s offense took the field with 32 seconds remaining and Jones found Meyers for an eight-yard gain. After a second-down incompletion, a draw to Stevenson picked up 12 more yards. On the last play of the game, Stevenson lateraled the ball to Meyers who then decided to throw it backwards. The pass was picked up by Chandler Jones, however, who returned it for a game-winning touchdown as time expired. [Patriots 24 : 30 Raiders]