Carr connects with Cooper to seal Mexico City win

After a big-time passing touchdown between Derek Carr and Amari Cooper, the Raiders took control for good.

Oakland beat the Houston Texans 27-20 on Monday Night Football in a game that was topsy-turvy for the first 45 minutes before a 35-yard connection between Carr and Cooper iced the win.

Houston threatened during the ensuing drive, driving just shy of midfield before the Raiders defense stepped up, starting with a sack of Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler, taken down by linebacker Bruce Irvin.

The Texans couldn’t get any momentum back after that, and punted the ball two plays later.

Carr’s game was split in halves, with the first being pretty horrid, and an outstanding second. He threw the first touchdown of the game in the first quarter, a 17-yarder to running back Jalen Richard, who started the play in motion attracting the 1-on-1 attention of middle linebacker Benardrick McKinney.

A favorable matchup for the Raiders due to McKinney’s lack of speed and agility, Carr read it and delivered. But Oakland’s offense stalled out for the next 30 minutes, and failed to score another touchdown until midway through the fourth quarter.

A 75-yard catch and run from fullback Jamize Olawale for six tied the score at 20-20 — two Lamar Miller touchdown rushes boosted the Texans score in between — and the Cooper touchdown grab sealed the deal.

Oakland played a dominant second half, perhaps one of their best this season, and did it against a terrific defense with and offense that has the talent to compliment.

Oakland is now 8-2, their best start to a season this century, and atop the AFC West.


Jason Leskiw is SFBay’s Oakland Raiders beat writer and member of the Professional Football Writers of America. Follow @SFBay and @LeskiwSFBay on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of Raiders football.