Raiders vs. Patriots score: Las Vegas scores wild, game-winning TD in final second after New England gaffe

Just when you think you've seen it all, the NFL turns around and shows you something that leaves your jaw on the floor. 

With the final seconds ticking off the clock in the Raiders-Patriots Week 15 matchup, it seemed like these two clubs were destined for overtime with the score knotted at 24 apiece. However, Rhamondre Stevenson took a run up the middle of the field, picked up 23 yards and then lateraled it back to wideout Jakobi Meyers to possibly strike a little last-second magic. While that happened, it just wasn't in the way the Patriots were hoping. 

Meyers took the ball and threw it back towards the middle fo the field. Pass rusher Chandler Jones then sat under the throw from the Las Vegas logo at midfield, picked it off and ran 48-yards for a wild game-winning touchdown as the Raiders moved to 6-8 on the season with the stunning 30-24 win.

This loss -- combined with the Chargers' win over the Titans -- pushes the Patriots (7-7) outside of the playoff picture in the AFC after previous sitting as the No. 7 seed. 

While New England's defense continued to keep the club in this matchup, the offense was routinely their Achilles heel and largely struggled to move the ball down the field. That last gaff was simply the cherry on top. 

Mac Jones finished 13 of 31 for 112 yards. Rhamondre Stevenson rushed for 172 yards on 19 carries to go along with a touchdown. On the other side, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr completed 20 of 38 for three touchdowns and pick. Keelan Cole, Darren Waller, and Mack Hollins were on the receiving end of Carr's trio of touchdown throws.

For a more detailed breakdown of how this game unfolded, check out our main takeaways below.

Why the Raiders won

The final score is obviously the key moment in Las Vegas' win, but they were able to absorb New England's second-half comeback thanks to their solid play to begin the afternoon. The Raiders scored on three of their five possessions in the first half to go up 17-3 at halftime. The big swing through the first two quarters was a blocked punt by the Raiders that immediately put the offense in the red zone. Carr would eventually connect with Mack Hollins for a five-yard touchdown and put them up by two touchdowns going into the break. 

As has been the case this season for the Raiders, however, they did let their opponent creep back into the game, despite owning a double-digit lead. In the moment -- especially after Kyle Dugger's pick six to put the Patriots back within one score -- it felt like Las Vegas was going to stumble yet again. Prior to Week 15, the Raiders were 0-4 when leading at halftime by double-digits this season. This time around, they were able to keep their heads above water despite New England's defense giving them its best punch. 

After that pick-six and then five-straight punts (three three-and-outs), the Raiders offense found its rhythm with just over two minutes remaining in regulation. With his team down seven, Derek Carr got the ball at the Las Vegas 19 yard line and was able to march 81 yards down the field to tie the game with 32 seconds left on the clock. That drive featured a massive fourth-and-10 conversion coming out the two minute warning as Carr connected with Mack Hollins for 12 yards to keep the comeback hopes alive. There was also a controversial 30-yard touchdown catch by Keelan Cole where it appeared the Raiders wideout had one foot out of bounds, but there was not enough evidence by the officials to overrule the call of a touchdown (more on that in our turning point section). 

That sharp play within the final two minutes and the ability to capitalize on New England's last-second gaff has the Raiders playoff hopes still alive for the moment. 

Why the Patriots lost

Naturally, the last-second touchdown will garner most of the attention, but it was a sloppy afternoon by the Patriots overall, which has historically been uncharacteristic for a Bill Belichick-led club. That lack of awareness on that lateral play at the end of regulation was abhorrent and there was poor execution all the way through this game. 

In the second quarter, New England was set up for a double-score opportunity after forcing the Raiders offense to go three-and-out. The offense took the ball and traveled just 21 yards in over 90 seconds before needing to punt it away. That attempt was then blocked and instantly put the Raiders in the red zone, which they'd later convert for a touchdown to go up by 14 points at the break. 

That dug New England into a hole that they were able to dig themselves out of in the second half thanks to a strong effort by the defense. Kyle Dugger picked off Derek Carr and ran it back for a touchdown on their first possession of the third quarter and the defense continued to shut down the Raiders offense, forcing punts on each of the next five drives. During that stretch, the offense -- which continues to be out of sync -- managed 14 points to draw even, but the back-breaker was a three-and-out on the possession before that lateral miscue. 

The defense had just forced Las Vegas to go three-and-out and gave the ball back to the offense with 3:12 left on the clock. The opportunity was there for Mac Jones and company to drive down the field and burn as much time as possible and force the Raiders to use their final timeout. While they accomplished that feat, they held onto the ball for just over a minute and booted the ball away after going three-and-out. The Raiders then got the ball back with over two minutes to play and drove 81 yards down the field to knot the game at 24. 

The inability of the offense to carry the baton from the defense has been New England Achilles' heel all season and burned them in Week 15 well before that brutal gaff at the last second. 

Turning point

The most controversial point of this game came with 37 seconds remaining in regulation when Carr uncorked a 30-yard touchdown to Keelan Cole that tied the game at 24. The officials took a long time to review this scoring play as it appears by at least one angle that Cole had one foot out of bounds. However, there was not enough evidence to overturn the ruling of a touchdown.

"We looked at every available angle and it was not clear and obvious that the foot was on the white," NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating Walt Anderson told the pool reporter. "It was very tight, very close. There was no shot that we could see – we even enhanced and blew up the views that we had. There was nothing that was clear and obvious that his foot was touching the white."

When asked if they had a down-the-sideline angle of the play, Anderson said: "No, we did not. Probably the best view was what we term a 'high end zone' view. TV gave us the most enhanced view that they had as well. We blew it up and I believe TV blew it up and there was nothing that was clear and obvious either way. Had the ruling on the field been incomplete, we would not have been able to change that either."

That touchdown capped off a strong 81-yard touchdown march by the Raiders, which included a fourth-and-10 conversion by Carr. 

Play of the game

What else would be the play of the game? 

While you can commend Stevenson for picking up a chunk of yards, the initial lateral probably shouldn't have even been in the works let alone Jakobi Meyers' throw to midfield, especially with the score tied. It was also a heads-up move by former Patriot Chandler Jones who was able to see the ball coming, make the catch, and shed Mac Jone before racing to the end zone. 

Meyers said after the game the plan was to run the ball and go into overtime. He admitted that he was "trying to do too much" and "trying to be a hero." 

What's next

From here, the Patriots will head back to Foxborough to take on the Bengals on Christmas Eve. Meanwhile, the Raiders will head on the road to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers. 

Live updates
See New Posts

Just when you think you've seen it all. Patriots go for a lateral play, and Chandler Jones picks it off and runs it back for the game-winning touchdown. 


Oh my goodness. 


Wow. The officials are keeping it a touchdown. Looked like Cole was out of bounds. Very controversial. 


Extremely long review... 


Ooooh. Looks like Cole's foot may be out of bounds. 


Keelan Cole with possibly a game-saving touchdown for Las Vegas. Heck of a throw by Derek Carr. Play is under review. 


Looks like there was some miscommunication on that third down play. Carr was looking for Davante Adams, but Waller tried to make the catch and it fell incomplete. Had he not been in the way, Adams maybe goes to the house. 


Mack Hollins had a step on Jonathan Jones and Derek Carr nearly hit him for a massive gain. Inches away from a game-changing play. 


Beautiful ball by Mac Jones on the two-point conversion attempt, but Meyers cooked his defender to get wide open. Patriots are up, 24-17. 


And the Patriots offense finally answers. Back-to-back chunk plays capped off with a 34-yard touchdown run by Rhamondre Stevenson to give New England the lead. 


David Andrews is back at center to begin this drive for the Patriots. 


This is an unbelievable effort by New England's defense. They are keeping this team in it with critical stops down the stretch. 


Well, the offense continues to struggle. A super quick three-and-out that lasts just 50 seconds. To make matters worse, David Andrews is down on the field injured. 


Patriots defense does its job again and forces a Raiders punt. Let's see if the offense can carry the baton. 


The offense is not doing New England any favors and they still only trail the Raiders by one. Ton of credit to the defense and Nick Folk, who just nailed a 54-yarder. However, this offense continues to have them swimming upstream. 


Josh Uche is blossoming in this Patriots defense before our eyes. He gets the edge on third down and opens up Bentley to record the sack. 


New England has largely kept Davante Adams quiet this afternoon. The star Raiders wideout has three catches on seven targets for 23 yards. 


Good challenge by Las Vegas. Agholor had his foot out of bounds. 


Interesting decision here by Josh McDaniels. There's a case to go for it a midfield on fourth-and-3, but have decided to punt it away. 


Once again, New England's defense is giving them life as Kyle Dugger picks off Carr and takes it 13 yards to the end zone.  


New England has converted just one of their six third down attempts this afternoon. 


An absolute collapse by the Patriots to end the first half and credit to the Raiders for taking advantage to go up two touchdowns. The blocked punt gave Las Vegas a short field and a nice pass by Derek Carr to Mack Hollins gives them the 17-3 lead. 

See More