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3 things we learned about the Raiders

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OAKLAND, Calif. — The last time the Raiders made the playoffs was after the 2002 season, but Oakland took another step Sunday in its quest to end that drought.

Quarterback Derek Carr threw for 333 yards and a career-high-tying four touchdowns, leading the Raiders to a 34-20 victory against the New York Jets at the O.co Coliseum.

The Raiders improved to 4-3 and are tied with the Jets (4-3) atop the early wild-card standings in the AFC. Oakland already has as many wins this season as it recorded all of last season.

“We want to be expected to win,” Raiders free safety Charles Woodson said. “When we watch the media, the TV guys, whatever, I want them to pick the Raiders.

“It’s a big win for us, beating a good team. … It speaks to what we’re building and where we’re trying to go.”

Raiders running back Latavius Murray gained 113 yards on 20 carries against a New York defense that entered the game ranked first against the run in the NFL.

“We’ve been hearing it all week, that’s what they do is stop the run,” Murray said. “We definitely took that as a challenge and made sure we dictated what happened out there in the running game.”

Carr completed 23 of 36 passes with no interceptions and had his fourth career 300-yard passing game, including three this season. Raiders wide receiver Andre Holmes caught two touchdown passes. Running back Taiwan Jones scored on a 59-yard pass, and wide receiver Michael Crabtree scored on a 36-yarder. Crabtree caught seven passes for 102 yards.

Jets running back Chris Ivory rushed for only 17 yards on 15 carries against an Oakland defense that was ranked third in the NFL against the run.

“That’s a testament to the guys,” said Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack, who had three tackles for losses. “We’ve been working hard.”

What we learned about the Raiders:

1. It’s time for the rest of the NFL to take this team seriously. These aren’t the same sad sacks who missed the playoffs the past dozen years and had just four wins last season. After beating the Jets 34-20 on Sunday, the Raiders are 4-3. “Our mindset from Day 1 has been to win our division,” Raiders first-year coach Jack Del Rio. That’s our No. 1 goal. We’ll continue to push for that. There’s nothing wrong with paying attention (to the playoff race), but we understand what’s most important is coming in every day and coming in with clear eyes, lot of energy and a willingness to go to work and come in and work with purpose. And that’s what we’ve been doing.” Grabbing a wild-card spot in the AFC is a more realistic goal, but it can’t hurt to dream about catching Denver.

2. Fast starts are becoming a way of life. The Raiders jumped to a 30-3 halftime lead against San Diego two weeks ago then built a 21-6 halftime lead Sunday against the Jets and won both games despite rocky finishes. Oakland scored on its first three possessions against the Jets. What’s the key to those fast starts? “Us just doing our job,” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said. “There’s no superhuman anything. Nothing like that. Us just listening to what the coaches have taught us, trying to do that to the best of our abilities. And this team has learned how to do that.”

3. They can run on anyone. The Jets defense entered Sunday’s game ranked No. 1 in the NFL against the run, allowing 71.5 rushing yards per game. Raiders running back Latavius Murray gained 113 yards on 20 carries. “We’ve been hearing it all week, that’s what they do is stop the run,” Murray said. “We definitely took that as a challenge and made sure we dictated what happened out there in the running game.”

Etc.:

–QB Derek Carr threw for 333 yards and a career-high-tying four touchdowns Sunday against the New York Jets. Carr completed 23 of 36 passes with no interceptions and had his fourth career 300-yard passing game, including three this season. He had a passer rating of 30.9. Carr is the fifth Raiders quarterback in franchise history and the first since Rich Gannon (Sept. 29, 2002 vs. Tennessee) to have 300 yards passing, four TDs and no sacks in a game.

–RB Latavius Murray gained 113 yards on 20 carries Sunday against a Jets defense that was ranked No. 1 against the run. Murray hit the 100-yard rushing mark for the third time in his career. He rushed for a career-high 139 yards earlier this season against Cleveland.

–FS Charles Woodson had his fifth interception of the season and 65th of his career Sunday against the Jets, moving him into a tie for fifth place on the NFL’s all-time list with Ken Riley. The five interceptions are Woodson’s most as a Raider since his rookie season in 1998 when he picked off five passes.


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