SPORTS

Las Vegas Raiders answer the call vs. Dallas to keep their playoff hopes alive

ARLINGTON, Texas — No, the Las Vegas Raiders are not done. Not after upsetting the Dallas Cowboys 36-33 in overtime Thursday and ending their three-game, post-bye losing streak.

At 6-5, thanks to Daniel Carlson‘s 29-yard field goal with 4:28 left in OT, the Raiders now have 10 days to prep for their next outing — a more-than-winnable home game against the Washington Football Team. And depending upon what the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers do this weekend, the Raiders could be looking pretty in less than two weeks.

Funny how a win is the ultimate deodorant for a team that had been stinking it up of late.

Describe the game in two words. Heart-stopper. Blowing an nine-point second-half lead, only to see three flags on the final game-winning kick, how else would you describe it?

Promising trend: DeSean Jackson being used as more than a deep decoy to clear out the underneath. Jackson, who turns 35 on Dec. 1, showed his preternatural speed on his 56-yard run-and-catch touchdown on Las Vegas’ third play from scrimmage, going right to left and racing up the sideline. Later, he picked up a huge pass interference penalty in the end zone on a deep ball to get the Raiders at the 1-yard line.

QB breakdown: Derek Carr has been in a three-game, post-bye funk, with six turnovers to four touchdown passes, but did not commit a turnover against the Cowboys. He may not have been as sharp as he was earlier in the season — he was 24-of-39 — but he passed for 373 yards. And that was more than enough. The Raiders are now 28-3 under Carr when scoring at least 30 points and 6-1 in overtime.

Pivotal play: A special teams breakdown by the Raiders. After Marcus Mariota scored on a 3-yard zone-read touchdown run to give Las Vegas a 24-13 lead midway through the third quarter, Tony Pollard returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards down the left sideline for a TD to deflate the Raiders, whose interim coach Rich Bisaccia is also the special teams coordinator, and give the Cowboys hope.

Silver lining: The emergence of Zay Jones as a threat. No, you never want to lose a Pro Bowl tight end, but after Darren Waller injured his left knee in the second quarter, things opened up for Jones. Indeed, Jones, who tweaked his back earlier in the game, had a season-high five catches for 59 yards and if Waller is out for an extended amount of time, Jones has shown he can be trusted … so to speak. His drawing a pass interference penalty on a deep ball at the Cowboys’ 24-yard line against Anthony Brown on third-and-long in overtime set up the game winner.

Eye-popping NextGen stat: The Raiders had seven first downs via penalty, tied for the most in a game over the last 20 seasons (2016 vs. the Denver Broncos).

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