MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) – The Oakland Raiders headed home early Monday after a long trip, ready for a rest with their season back on track.
Derek Carr threw for 300 yards and Oakland completed a two-game East Coast swing Sunday night by beating the Miami Dolphins 27-24. It was only the Raiders’ second win since Week 2, but at 4-5 they’re still in the playoff chase.
“A real solid win on the road,” coach Jack Del Rio said. “We’re ready to get home.”
The Raiders spent the week practicing in Sarasota, Florida, after losing a week ago at Buffalo. Following a bye, their next game is Nov. 19 in Mexico City.
The Dolphins fell to 4-4. Here are things to know about their second consecutive prime-time defeat, and the Raiders’ change in direction:
Carr went 21 for 30. His favorite target was tight end Jared Cook, who made eight catches for 126 yards.
Seldom-used Johnny Holton had the biggest catch, a 44-yard touchdown reception on a long pass from Carr. Holton’s only other catch this year went 64 yards for a score.
“When he gets in the game, people are pointing him out – ‘Oh, the fast guy is in,'” Carr said.
“Johnny can go get it, man,” Del Rio said.
Oakland’s Marshawn Lynch scored twice in his return from a one-game suspension for shoving an official. His 22-yard touchdown run was his longest gain this year, and he finished with 57 yards on 14 carries.
Carr said the offense was different with Lynch back.
“A lot more jokes, him talking trash to me,” Carr said. “He’s our brother. We love him. The more we can run the ball, the more stress it takes off me. I’m all for that.”
SLIPPING TO .500
Jay Cutler returned to give Miami’s worst-in-the-NFL offense some life. After missing one game with cracked ribs, he completed his first 16 throws and finished with 311 yards passing and three scores.
The offense also overcame the recent trade of leading rusher Jay Ajayi. Running backs Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams each made six catches, and Drake had a 42-yard run to set up a touchdown.
But now the defense is showing cracks. The Dolphins have allowed 95 points in the past three games, and they’re the AFC’s lone .500 team.
“Nobody wants to be 4-4,” defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh said. “Luckily it’s halfway. We still have opportunities.”
Miami plays its third consecutive prime-time game on Monday, Nov. 13.
Marshall Newhouse, the Raiders’ 330-pound tackle, briefly became an imposing ball carrier when he scooped up a Carr fumble and took off. He also fumbled when hit, and Miami recovered.
“I don’t really think he was thinking first down,” Del Rio said. “He was thinking, ‘I’m going to score.'”
Dolphins players Julius Thomas, Michael Thomas and Kenny Stills knelt during the national anthem for the first time since coach Adam Gase established a rule requiring players either to stand for the anthem or stay in the tunnel.
Before recent games, the three players waited in the tunnel. But they told Gase the wait was interfering with their game preparation, according to a person familiar with the discussions.
The person said Gase told them he preferred they stand during the anthem but respected their right to express themselves and relaxed the team rule. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the Dolphins didn’t comment on the latest protests.
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