The Oakland Raiders began their week-long stay in Florida by taking on the Jacksonville Jaguars hoping to right the ship after falling to the Kansas City Chiefs last week.
After struggling last week against Alex Smith and the Chiefs, the Raiders defense got back on track in defending the pass against third-year quarterback Blake Bortles.
Cornerback David Amerson helped out the defense in the first quarter, reading Bortles the entire way and intercepting the pass in the end zone to give the offense another possession.
Special teams added to the Raiders turnovers when Jaguars return man muffed the punt and gunner Andre Holmes recovered to give Derek Carr and the Raiders the ball back deep in the Jaguars territory. But once again, the Raiders were unable to capitalize and had to settle for another field goal to go up 6-0. Carr almost found wide receiver Seth Roberts but was unable to make the throw, forcing the field goal.
Carr and the offense finally found a rhythm in the second quarter when Carr led his squad down the field 75 yards with an 11-play drive. Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave capped off the drive by running Latavius Murray up the middle for a 2-yard touchdown in his first game back after missing the last two weeks, putting the Raiders up 13-3.
The Raiders have struggled to prevent the big play in recent weeks and fell victim to it again on Sunday as Bortles four receiver Marquise Lee up the middle for 38 yards after slot corner DJ Hayden slipped. Ken Norton Jr.'s defense would hold the Jaguars to another field goal though, limiting the damage.
Jacksonville still had 1:38 left in the half to get back on the scoreboard, and the Raiders third-year quarterback took advantage. Facing a 3rd and 5 from his own 42-yard line, Carr dropped in a perfect pass to his trusty wide receiver Michael Crabtree for 56 yards that gave the Raiders 1st and goal. He capitalized on the opportunity by going back to Crabtree on a slant for the touchdown, putting the Raiders up 20-6 at halftime. It was Crabtree's sixth touchdown on the year.
Carr and the Raiders offense stalled in the second half, but the defense continued to come up strong when Jack Del Rio and the coaching staff needed it most.
After giving up a field goal early in the third quarter, the Raiders defense would hold Bortles and the Jaguars scoreless for much of the second half until a late rally. Still down 26-9, Bortles attacked the Raiders prevent defense and orchestrated an 11-play, 83 yard drive that culminated in a touchdown. Tight end Julius Thomas hauled in the touchdown on an under-thrown ball from Bortles that was almost intercepted by linebacker Malcolm Smith.
Looking to just run the clock out, punter Marquette King looked to give the ball back to the Jaguars with under four minutes on the clock but after a low snap, King scrambled 27 yards for the first down to extend the drive.
Carr took advantage, using just three more plays to get his team into the endzone for the back-breaking score. Murray punched the ball in from nine-yards out to give the Raiders the 33-16 lead.
Looking for a miracle, Bortles would get his team back to the midfield mark before safety Reggie Nelson made an acrobatic interception to secure the Raiders fifth win of the season.
The interception marked the third takeaway of the game for the defense, giving them the win in the turnover battle by a final of +3 after two interceptions and a muffed punt recovery. Overall, the Raiders defense held the Jaguars to 344 total yards and just one touchdown.
Del Rio and his team will now travel to Sarasota, Fla. before they head to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers next week looking to extend their win streak.