On Sunday, the Raiders got a surprise gift from the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Now the Raiders are hoping their good fortune will carry over to next week – and perhaps beyond.
In a battle of 1-4 teams, the Raiders rallied from 14 points down in the second half to beat the Jaguars 26-23 in overtime at O.co Coliseum in what quarterback Carson Palmer had called a “must-win game.”
At 2-4, the Raiders now travel to Kansas City next Sunday to take on the 1-5 Chiefs with a chance at getting back into contention in the AFC West.
Sunday’s victory came courtesy of a Raiders’ second-half rebound following an ugly first two quarters, and the Jaguars’ gift on the first series of overtime.
Jacksonville won the coin toss and received the kick to start the extra period. But on the Jaguars’ third play, Cecil Short III was stripped of the ball on a tackle by Lamarr Houston after catching a short pass from Chad Henne. The ball was recovered by Oakland’s Joselio Hanson at the Jaguars 21.
That set up Sebastian Janikowski’s 40-yard field goal for the win.
After trailing 17-6 at the half – and contributing two turnovers that led to 10 points for a depleted Jacksonville offense that was playing without star running back Maurice Jones-Drew and quarterback Blaine Gabbert (both knocked out with injuries) – the Raiders outscored the Jags 17-6 over the final two quarters to force OT.
Palmer – who connected on 26-of-43 throws for 298 yards – hit Denarius Moore for an 8-yard touchdown play in the third quarter, then scored on a 1-yard sneak late in the fourth quarter to tie the game after a Janikowski field goal.
The Raiders once again had trouble running on Jacksonville, with Darren McFadden held to 53 yards on 19 carries and getting just 69 yards on the ground as a team.
But Palmer put the team on his back in the second half with his passing. Overall, he connected with five different receivers for four or more catches, led by tight end Brandon Myers (seven for 44 yards).
The Raiders’ defense, meanwhile, looked stronger for the second week in a row after some tweaks in the team's bye week.
Oakland allowed the Jags to convert just 1-of-15 third-down plays, had three sacks and allowed just 54 yards on the ground.