The Las Vegas Raiders pulled off many a memorable victory during their years in Oakland and Los Angeles, and they have continued that tradition since moving to Las Vegas last season.
The latest, obviously came Monday night in the 2021 opener against the Baltimore Ravens, when the Silver and Black fell behind early and never led until scoring a touchdown in overtime to win, 33-27.
Even though the Raiders were only 8-8 last season in their first season in Nevada, they did manage a few victories to remember.
Here are this reporter’s top five wins in Las Vegas, in chronological order:
Sept. 13, 2020: Raiders 34, Carolina Panthers 30
In their first game since moving to Las Vegas, the Raiders went on the road and couldn’t hold a 27-15 lead in the fourth quarter, but pulled out the victory with big plays from the offense and defense down the stretch.
Quarterback Derek Carr drove the Raiders 75 yards for the final points of the game, which came on Josh Jacobs’ six-yard touchdown run with 4:06 left in the game, but the Panthers took the ensuing kickoff and were driving toward what could have been a winning score of their own.
However, the Raiders’ defense stiffened near midfield, and on fourth down defensive end Clelin Ferrell and linebacker Cory Littleton stopped Carolina fullback Alex Armah short of a first down with 1:11 left to preserve the victory.
Oct. 11, 2020: Raiders 40, Kansas City Chiefs 32
In Week 5, the Raiders were on the road again when they knocked off their AFC West rival Kansas City Chiefs, the reigning Super Bowl champions, at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Raiders fell behind, 14-3 and 21-10, but outplayed the Chiefs the rest of the way. After Carr threw three touchdown passes in the second quarter, Kansas City’s Harrison Butker kicked a 32-yard field goal with 28 seconds left in the half to tie the score, 24-24.
But Jacobs ran for touchdowns of seven and two yards and Daniel Carlson kicked a 43-yard field goal as Las Vegas broke the tie with 17 straight points to start the final quarter.
After safety Jeff Heath intercepted a pass by Mahomes on the next possession, the Chiefs quarterback threw a seven-yard touchdown pass to tight end Travis Kelce and a two-point conversion pass to running back Darrel Williams with 3:57 remaining, but the Silver and Black ran out the clock.
Dec. 6, 2020: Raiders 31, New York Jets 28
On the road once again at Met Life Stadium and in the midst of a stretch in which they lost four of five games to end their playoff hopes, the Raiders seemed to be headed for another defeat when Ty Johnson ran one yard for a touchdown to give the winless Jets a 28-24 lead with 5:34 left in the game.
The Raiders had to punt the ball back to the Jets and did not regain possession until there were 37 seconds left in the game, but Carr did his fourth-quarter magic again by taking the Silver and Black 61 yards in three plays—the last a desperation 46-yard touchdown pass down the left sideline to rookie Henry Ruggs III with three seconds remaining.
The play came on the 50th anniversary of Daryle Lamonica’s 33-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Warren Wells with one second left on a tipped ball in the back of the end zone that gave the Raiders a 14-13 victory over the Jets, after George Blanda’s extra point, at Shea Stadium in New York.
In this one, Carr passed for 381 yards and three touchdowns, in addition to running for another score.
Jan. 3, 2021: Raiders 32, Denver Broncos 31
Of course, the Raiders were again away from Allegiant Stadium where they were only 2-6 last season with no fans allowed because of the Coronavirus pandemic when they played the Broncos in the season finale at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver.
The AFC West rivals went back and forth, with the lead changing hands four times before quarterback Drew Lock hit wide receiver Jerry Jeudy with a 92-yard touchdown bomb with 6:29 remaining in the game.
The Raiders gave the ball back but had one more chance and Carr drove them 77 yards in seven plays before Jacobs scored from a yard out with 24 seconds left in the game. Then Carr hit the tight end, Darren Waller, with a two-point conversion pass.
It wasn’t over until defensive end Maxx Crosby blocked a 63-yard field goal attempt, which wasn’t out of the question because of the thin air at Mile High, by Brandon McManus on the last play of the game and the Raiders avoided finishing the season under .500.
Sept. 13, 2021: Raiders 33, Baltimore Ravens 27 (overtime)
With fans finally allowed at Allegiant Stadium for a regular-season game, a roaring capacity crowd of 65,000 certainly played a role as the Raiders showed they could pull out a big victory in Las Vegas.
The Raiders fell behind, 14-0, in the second quarter but scored 17 points in the last 9:20 of regulation to tie the score, 27-27, with two seconds left on a 55-yard field goal by Daniel Carlson, won the toss to started and seemed to have the game won on their first possession in the extra period.
Carr hit wide receiver, Bryan Edwards, with what was ruled a 31-yard touchdown pass, but a video review showed Edwards’ knee was down on the one-yard-line. Carr was stopped short on a quarterback sneak and then the Raiders were penalized five yards for illegal procedure.
From just outside the five, Carr’s pass went through the hands of wide receiver Willie Snead in the end zone, bounced off the helmet of safety DeShon Elliott and was intercepted by cornerback Anthony Averett.
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson passed for 235 yards and ran for 86, but two plays later defensive end Carl Nassib forced Jackson’s second fumble of the game, and fellow defensive end Darius Philon recovered.
Two plays after that, Carr hit the wide-open wide receiver, Zay Jones, with a game-winning 31-yard touchdown pass.
Raider Nation shouldn’t be surprised because Carr has led the Silver and Black on 24 game-winning drives in the fourth quarter and overtime since 2015, the most of any quarterback in the National Football League.
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