OAKLAND (AP) — Marshawn Lynch provided the early touchdown, the dance moves and the inspiration for the crowd in celebratory home opener in Oakland.
He got plenty of help in an almost flawless offensive performance for the Raiders, who also got three touchdown passes from Derek Carr to Michael Crabtree and long touchdown runs from Cordarrelle Patterson and Jalen Richard in a 45-20 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday.
The Raiders (2-0) gained 410 yards, scored on seven of 10 possessions and didn’t commit a turnover, allow a sack or a quarterback hit in a thorough beating of the struggling Jets (0-2).
“We know that we have a lot of talent, a lot of weapons,” Carr said. “But the cool part about that is that we have a group of guys that just work. That’s the culture that we’ve built here. When you have talent and work, you’re able to do things like that.”
The Raiders did just about anything they wanted against the Jets. Lynch didn’t put up prolific numbers but did run for 45 yards and the touchdown that helped break open a close game late in the first half.
Crabtree matched his career high with three touchdown catches, including two near the goal line , where with his strength he is a difficult matchup for any defense.
They even used some tricks with a flea-flicker to key their first touchdown drive, and by moving Patterson from receiver to the backfield, where he was lined up for his 43-yard touchdown run .
Richard added another speed element when he scored on a 52-yard run in the fourth quarter to add to the celebration in the stands. There isn’t as much celebrating in the locker room, even though the Raiders are off to their first 2-0 start since their AFC championship season in 2002.
“It’s still early,” left tackle Donald Penn said. “You got to sustain it. It’s not about doing it in the beginning. You got to sustain it. You’ve got to go 16 weeks with it. Hopefully we are going into 17, 18, 19 weeks with it. We’re off to a good start.”
Here are some other takeaways from the game:
DANCE PARTY: On a day with six touchdowns, the biggest highlight might have been Lynch’s dance moves on the sideline . After Crabtree’s third TD catch made it 42-13 early in the third quarter, Lynch took advantage of the stoppage in play to delight his hometown crowd with moves on the sideline.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen him dance like that,” said Raiders linebacker Bruce Irvin, Lynch’s former teammate with the Seahawks. “He didn’t ever do that in Seattle. I guess it was because he was at home. He was having fun. That was a cool moment.”
GOOD CONNECTION: About the only thing to go well for the Jets was the connection between quarterback Josh McCown and receiver Jermaine Kearse. McCown hit Kearse on a 34-yard touchdown in the second quarter and an 11-yarder in the fourth as the two are quickly building a rapport. Kearse was acquired just before the season in a trade from Seattle.
“We did some good things out there,” Kearse said. “Offensively, we were getting on the same page and we were able to click and drive down the field. We just got to continue to build on that.”
SACK PARTY: Improving the pass rush was a priority for the Raiders after getting a league-low 25 sacks a year ago. They had just one in the opener before breaking through with four against the Jets. Safety Karl Joseph forced a fumble on one sack off a blitz and forced McCown into another earlier in the game that Mario Edwards Jr. and Denico Autry split. Edwards also had one of his own, and Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack got his first of the season.
WHERE’S THE D: After allowing 190 yards rushing in the opener against Buffalo, Jets coach Todd Bowles called out his defense in hopes of a better performance against the Raiders. There wasn’t much improvement as evidenced by Oakland’s 180 yards on the ground, two long touchdowns and 6.7 yards per carry.
“As a defense, our job is to stop the run,” defensive tackle Kony Ealy said. “It’s very frustrating to do that. Nobody to blame but ourselves. We’ve got to look in the mirror and stop that problem ourselves.”