The Oakland Raiders finished their 10-day trip to Florida by taking on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday looking to stay perfect on the road.
The Raiders got off to a rough start, losing their star cornerback Sean Smith to a shoulder injury on the very first play of the game.
Jack Del Rio's team spent much of the first half with limited success due to penalties killing their rhythm. In all, the Raiders had 10 penalties for 82 yards in the first half alone.
The worst came after Derek Carr found fullback Jamize Olawale for a 68 yard pass to get the Raiders in the red zone for the first time of the game already down 10-to-0. Carr and the offense failed to get the next play off, taking a delay of game that pushed them back to the 8-yard line.
But the penalties didn't stop there. It looked like the delay of game wasn't going to stop them as Carr found Michael Crabtree in the end zone for an apparent touchdown but he pushed off and got called for offensive pass interference pushing them back even further. Unable to recover from the penalties, the Raiders were forced to settle for a field goal to make it 10-to-3 at the half.
The Raiders coaches got their team back on track at halftime as they looked like a different team coming out of the locker room for the second half.
After second-year wide receiver Amari Cooper drew a pass interference call, Carr rewarded his left tackle Donald Penn with a rare touchdown reception against the team that cut him after the 2013 season. The score tied the game at 10-to-10.
The defense fed off the Raiders offensive success, forcing a quick three-and-out by the Buccaneers to give the ball right back to Carr. The third-year quarterback took advantage of the possession with a beautiful 34-yard touchdown pass to Cooper to give the Raiders their first lead of the game.
But Tampa Bay wasn't going to go down easily, especially after the Raiders gave them a short field after a bad punt by Marquette King. Second-year quarterback Jameis Winston only used three plays to get his squad back into the end zone, finding tight end Cameron Brate for the touchdown. With a chance to tie the game, rookie kicker Roberto Aguayo hooked the extra point to keep the Raiders up by one at 17-16.
It looked like the Raiders defense would force another punt in the fourth quarter but the flags kept coming. Winston and the Buccaneers offense got four first downs by penalties on their final drive alone. The biggest flag came with the Bucs facing 3rd and 15 when rookie safety Karl Joseph hit receiver Russell Shepard late to give them the first down.
They took advantage by converting on the 10-play drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jacquizz Rodgers to put Tampa Bay up. Following a 2-point conversion to Mike Evans, the Raiders trailed 24-to-17 with just 3:48 remaining, a position Carr has found success with in the past.
Carr kept his poise, driving the team down the field much in part to a beautiful leaping grab by Cooper on a 31-yard pass down the left sideline that put the team in action. A few plays later, it looked like Carr found Seth Roberts for the game-tying touchdown but he failed to get his feet in bounds.
Facing a 4th-and-three from the 5 yard line, Carr threw it high and incomplete to Crabtree but a defensive holding penalty on the Bucs kept the drive alive. Carr took advantage by finding tight end Mychal Rivera with a beautiful pass to tie the game.
The defense forced a quick three-and-out by the Buccaneers, giving Carr one last chance to win the game in regulation. Following a good return by undrafted rookie Jalen Richard, the Raiders needed to go just 10 yards to give the big-legged kicker Sebastian Janikowski a chance to win the game.
Cooper got behind the defense as Carr found him but he dropped the ball that would've given them a much shorter field goal try. Instead, the Raiders were forced to settle for a 50-yard field goal at the end of regulation to win the game but Janikowski missed it wide left to send the game to overtime.
After winning the coin toss in overtime, Carr once again had a chance to ice the game if he could get his team into the end zone one last time. The offense once again stalled, forcing a 52-yard field goal try by Janikowski which he missed, this time wide right.
The defense came up big in overtime, forcing the Buccaneers to go three-and-out on both of their possessions. Carr had one last chance to win the game after getting the ball back with just under four minutes left in overtime. Facing a 4th and 4, Del Rio elected to go for it instead of punting and likely settling for a tie. His third-year quarterback rewarded him with a strike to Roberts who broke a couple of tackles and scampered down the field for the win.
The win kept the Raiders undefeated on the road, winning all five of their road games thus far. Carr finished the game 40/59 for 513 yards and four touchdowns. Cooper led the team in receiving with 12 receptions for 173 yards and one touchdown.
The Raiders return home for a big divisional matchup against the Denver Broncos on Sunday night football next week.