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FOXBOROGH, Mass. – Raiders quarterback Derek Carr threw a fastball right at Denarius Moore, a seemingly easy reception for vital yards. The pass clanked of Moore’s hands instead, popped up and Vince Wilfork’s welcoming arms.
The Patriots defensive tackle secured an interception that sealed Sunday’s 16-9 victory over the Raiders at Gillette Stadium.
It came a play after Darren McFadden’s game-tying touchdown (assuming an extra point, of course) was nullified by a holding call.
That was the latest and most dramatic example of the Raiders failing to come through in the clutch. A few more plays under duress, and the Silver and Black emerge with a victory.
“At the moment of truth there are times when we have to be able to make some plays,” head coach Dennis Allen said. “We didn’t do that enough today and came up on the short end of the stick.”
While Moore’s blunder was dramatically costly, his teammates were quick to deflect blame.
“You can’t put anything on just one guy or any one play,” guard Austin Howard said. “It’s on all of us. There were several moments where we could’ve changed the game by stepping up and making a big play.”
James Jones nearly had one near the goal line, but jumped too early and the ball fell incomplete. Marcel Reece could’ve had an easy third-down conversion but wasn’t ready for Carr’s pass. The Raiders defense had New England at 3rd and 12 in the fourth quarter, but gave up a 20-yard pass that extended a drive that became a Patriots field goal.
“When you’re so close to victory, you can’t help but think of those things and how you could’ve changed the game,” Reece said. “We all want to win so badly. We were so, so close. We just have to be better in big moments. We will be.”