Playing in Mexico City, the New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders put on a show on Sunday, displaying some of the best talent in the NFL.
The Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots met up inside Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, Mexico, and the Patriots were quick to show why they are considered the best team in the NFL. Tom Brady, who has defied Father Time with his play over the past few season, got off to a hot start, completing his first 11 passes. Brady threw for two touchdowns in the first half, as the Patriots dominated the Raiders on both sides of the ball through the first two frames.
Oakland had a chance to put a dent in the Patriots 14-0 lead prior to halftime, as Derek Carr drove his team into the red zone. However, Seth Roberts fumbled the ball inside the ten yard line, and Oakland had to go into the locker room down 17-0. after a 62-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski. For Oakland, they missed on a couple of opportunities in the first half, and had to kick off to New England to start the second.
After the break, New England got right back to work, as Brady hooked up with Brandin Cooks on a 64-yard touchdown. With the catch, Cooks already had 133 yards in the game, which is two more than his season high of 131 set against the Houston Texans back on September 24.
Down 27-0, the Raiders punted the ball on a 4th-and-6, but the Patriots were called for running into the kicker, their first penalty of the game. On a 4th-and-1 try, the Raiders decided to give the ball to their fullback, who was promptly stopped behind the line. The questionable play call gave the ball back to New England, who capitalized with a field goal. Oakland finally got on the board in the fourth quarter, when Carr hit Amari Cooper for a touchdown.
Michael Crabtree caught a two-point conversion, cutting the Patriots lead to 30-8. That was as close as the Raiders would get, as the Patriots showed complete domination in this game. For the Pats, they run their record to 8-2, while the Raiders fall to 4-6, with their playoff hopes on life support.
The Patriots are one of the best teams in the NFL, and it showed as they were named 7.5 points favorites in this one. They certainly covered on Sunday, beating the Raiders by over 20 points. The over/under was set at 54.5, mostly because these two offenses are solid, but the game went under due to the Raiders lack of production on the offensive side of the ball. All odds were available throughout the week on OddsShark.com.
1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
The veteran signal-caller was at it again on Sunday, shredding a very bad Raiders secondary. Brady completed 30-of-37 passes for 339 yards, while finding the end zone three times. He has played at an MVP level once again in 2017, and is the reason the Patriots are the class of the AFC again this season.
2. Brandin Cooks, New England Patriots
The Patriots made a move to acquire Brandin Cooks for a first round pick prior to the 2017 NFL Draft, and he certainly paid dividends in this one. Cooks came into the game with a game-high of 131 yards this season, and proceed to shred that number against the Raiders. Cooks finished with six catches for 149 yards, including a 64-yard touchdown.
3. New England Patriots defense
New England came into this game facing a Raiders team coming off their bye week, and one that had looked better on offense as of late. That did not matter against the Patriots defense, who was stellar all game long. The Patriots came up huge on third down, put good pressure on Derek Carr, and kept themselves out of any real trouble all game long.
The Oakland Raiders will head back to Oakland for Week 12, as they welcome divisional rival Denver to the Coliseum on Sunday. The New England Patriots will also get to head home, as they also take on a divisional rival next weekend, when they take on the Miami Dolphins inside Gillette Stadium. Both teams will continue their quest to be one of the six teams representing the AFC in the playoffs.