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Raiders moves into tie for first in AFC West after defeating Giants, 24-17

Matt Schneidman, East Bay Times on

Published in Football

OAKLAND, Calif. -- This was the type of game that made you want to shield your eyes, stop watching and maybe even flick on some Tiger Woods preseason golf instead.

You probably wouldn't be the only one. You also would've missed a pretty entertaining fourth quarter of a game that came to life late, salvaging a disgusting first three quarters.

Whatever happened at the Coliseum on Sunday hardly resembled football for the majority of the afternoon, let alone football played by one team now tied for first place in its division. Yet that's exactly where the Raiders (6-6) sit after a 24-17 win over the Giants (2-10). It was ugly, but it's a win. And now, we get a Raiders-Chiefs tilt next Sunday in Kansas City, Mo., with both teams sitting at .500, neither those two teams nor the Chargers seemingly with any desire to run away with the division.

Despite the mess this one devolved into, the game started anything but for the Raiders.

Marshawn Lynch reached his fifth-highest rushing total of the season in just three carries. He took the Raiders' first three plays from scrimmage 60 combined yards on the ground, the third 51 yards to the house to open the scoring. The Giants went three-and-out on their first three drives, and this one looked headed for a massacre. Yet the Raiders sat below .500 for a reason heading into Sunday, and they kept the visitors in the game far longer than they should've.

Sans Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper, Derek Carr couldn't get anything going in the air. Not even Jared Cook picked up steam, facing the worst team in the league at defending tight ends.

 

Lynch passed his previous season high of 76 rushing yards with a six-yard carry late in the second quarter, but nothing else gave Oakland's offense even the slightest signs of life. The defense, however, kept a Geno Smith-led Giants team in check -- as it should.

After Marquette King was bum-rushed on a punt inside the Raiders' 10 -- he didn't even have time to punt and just took the hit -- New York had a chance to take the lead before halftime. Just in time, Khalil Mack decided to be the Mack of old, almost ripping off Smith's right arm while strip-sacking the quarterback to reverse possession. Only a Giorgio Tavecchio 39-yard field goal had the Raiders ahead at halftime by a slim 10-7 margin.

And you thought the second half couldn't get any more gross than the first? Well, you were wrong.

Trying to describe it here might just hurt your eyes. It included some fumbles, some punts, some terrible throws and some conservative play-calling.

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