NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Oakland Raiders found a way to pull out a win on a wet, rainy day. Derek Carr threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Seth Roberts with 1:21 left. The Raiders stopped a three-game skid by edging the Tennessee Titans 24-21 Sunday.
The Raiders (5-6) had a 17-6 lead in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter with just minutes remaining they found themselves behind 17-21.
Offensive Coordinator/Play Caller Bill Musgrave went ultra conservative after the 17-6 lead. Almost every Raiders offensive series started with two runs on first and second down followed by a desperate 3rd down pass. Most passes were at or behind the line of scrimmage. Bubble screens were used in back to back drives. The team went 3-and-out multiple times during that stretch. The play calling was confusing seeing that the Raiders only had a 3-point lead for most of the second half. The young cast on offense struggled to get in any rhythm until Musgrave finally took the reigns off Carr on their final offensive drive with a 4-point deficit. To add to the offense stalling out, Derek Carr fumbled the ball on a Center exchange with back up Tony Bergstrom. The Titans took advantage of the short field and scored the go ahead touchdown with 4:13 remaining.
“I’m really proud of the way they guys stayed in it,” Oakland coach Jack Del Rio said. “It was tough. There was a reason to be discouraged. You’re in control of the game, you fumble it and all of a sudden they go down and get a score. And it’s `Oh my gosh, what are we going to do?’ Well, we’re going to go down there and find a way to get it in there and get a score.”
The Titans (2-9) lost for the ninth time in 10 games after rallying to take a 21-17 lead. They thought they had a game-saving play when safety Michael Griffin broke up a pass in the end zone on fourth down.
But officials flagged B.W. Webb for holding on the other side of the field.
Del Rio said rookie Amari Cooper was held. Webb tried to find the official, saying later he never held the receiver. Titans interim coach Mike Mularkey said he had no idea where the flag came from and did not agree with the penalty.
“The one call is the call, it changes the game, changes the outcome of the game,” Mularkey said. “It’s frustrating, very frustrating.”
Carr said he started yelling instantly about the flag. Two plays later, Carr hit Roberts for the winning touchdown. He finished with 330 yards and three TDs in his sixth 300-yard passing game this season.
“We get another chance, and we go win it,” Carr said. “Finally, we won today and it just feels good.”
Nate Allen ended the Titans’ last chance by intercepting rookie Marcus Mariota with 43 seconds left. Mariota took the blame for not looking elsewhere.
“I’ll find ways to get better and help our team win some games,” he said.
Roberts finished with six catches for 113 yards and two TDs, and Cooper had seven receptions for 115 yards. Khalil Mack had two sacks for the Raiders, who outgained Tennessee 407-249 and held the ball for nearly 35 minutes.
The Titans now have lost 11 straight on their home field and are tied for the third-worst home skid. Mariota threw for 218 yards and three TDs, but he was intercepted twice, with the last one coming with no receiver in the area.
Oakland’s mistakes helped Tennessee turn a game where the Raiders had been cruising into a frantic finish.
The Raiders were flagged 11 times for 94 yards, with two of those penalties keeping Tennessee TD drives alive, and Carr himself set up the Titans’ go-ahead TD by fumbling a snap. Defensive end DaQuan Jones fell on the ball for the Titans, and Mariota threw a 1-yard TD pass to Jalston Fowler to make it 21-17 with 4:41 left.
Carr briefly left after taking a shot from Jones on the opening series of the game. But the second-year quarterback returned in time to throw for 187 yards and a touchdown by halftime and Oakland led 10-6 at the break.
Carr joined Rich Gannon (10 in 2002) and Carson Palmer (six in 2012) as the only Raiders quarterbacks with six or more 300-yard passing games in a season. … Denico Autry blocked Ryan Succop’s first extra-point try for the first miss by the Titans since 2006 and the first missed extra point in Succop’s career. The Titans kicker had been perfect on his first 205 attempts, including all 18 this season. … Crabtree now has a TD catch in five of his past six games. … Oakland is 4-0 when being flagged for 10 or more penalties.