The Patriots were firing on all cylinders from the start of the game. Never at any point during the entire contest did their win probability drop below 60%. They had the Raiders in the rear view mirror from the get go.
The Patriots defense had one of their best games of the season. The Raiders’ were barely allowed to sniff the end zone and Carr only once managed to find a receiver there. The first time the Raiders looked like they might be able to get a score, Trey Flowers knocked that idea out of their heads and the ball out of the arms of a flailing Raiders receiver. The Patriots recovered the fumble and continued their defensive dominance. Oakland wouldn’t get their first score until the fourth quarter. The Patriots played very well composed as well. They didn’t commit a single penalty until the middle of the third quarter.
At the beginning of the season, when many people were talking about the real possibility of the Patriots going undefeated, I had this game circled as one that worried me. The Patriots would be coming off a game at Denver, a place Brady has struggled in the past and their (what was supposed to be) tough defense. Then the Patriots were going to Mexico and facing Oakland and their (what was supposed to be) potent offense. Instead, the Patriots breezed by both teams and extended his road win streak to twelve games. Outside of a trip to Pittsburgh, their remaining schedule is all in their own division. It’s no secret that aside from the Patriots, the AFC East is one of the weaker divisions. The Patriots should be able to cruise into the playoffs as easily as they did to victory today against the Raiders.
Image Source: (New York Times)