FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — A holding penalty on Raiders offensive lineman Gabe Jackson took an Oakland touchdown off the scoreboard and allowed the New England Patriots to escape with a victory yet again.
Not far from where the “Tuck Rule” knocked the Raiders out of the 2002 playoffs and cleared the way for New England’s first Super Bowl title, Jackson was flagged for holding on what would have been the game-tying — or go-ahead, with a 2-point conversion — touchdown with 62 seconds left.
“I thought it was a touchdown,” said Darren McFadden, whose 6-yard scoring run was erased by the penalty. “When I turned around and everybody wasn’t coming to celebrate with me, I knew something wasn’t right.”
Instead, Derek Carr’s pass on the next play was deflected by intended receiver Denarius Moore into the hands of 325-pound defensive lineman Vince Wilfork, and the Patriots ran out the clock in a 16-9 victory.
Raiders coach Dennis Allen disagreed with the holding call.
“I saw it up on the big screen,” he said. “My opinion is that it was not a hold.”
The Patriots and Raiders were charter members of the AFL, but two games stand out in the 50-year-old rivalry: In a 1976 playoff game, the Patriots were called for roughing the passer on Ken Stabler with less than 90 seconds left — a penalty New England fans still dispute — and the Raiders went on to win the game and the Super Bowl.
In 2002, the Raiders stripped the ball from Tom Brady late in a snowy playoff game at the old Foxboro Stadium before the little-known tuck rule was invoked, turning a fumble into an incomplete pass. The Patriots went on to win the game in overtime, and then their first of three Super Bowls in four seasons.
There was less on the line Sunday, but a victory would have snapped the Raiders’ losing streak that is now at nine games.
“We went out to try to win a football game,” Allen said. “That’s all we can focus on. That’s all we will focus on.”
Brady was 24 of 37 for 234 yards and a touchdown, and Stephen Gostkowski kicked three field goals for New England (2-1). Carr was 21 of 34 for 174 yards, Sebastian Janikowski had three field goals and McFadden ran 18 times for 59 yards for the Raiders (0-3).
McFadden, who started in place of the injured Maurice Jones-Drew, broke through the line and into the end zone with 1:02 left for a score that would have made it 16-15. Allen said he considered going for 2 points and the win, but he would not tell reporters what his decision was because it became moot because of the holding call.
“I thought it was a clean block,” Jackson said. “The call is what it was, so I don’t have too much to say about it. Maybe they saw something that looked different from a different angle.”
The Patriots won their 12th home opener in 13 seasons, while the Raiders lost their 15th straight game in the Eastern time zone.
Brady became the third quarterback with 150 regular-season wins behind Brett Favre (186) and Peyton Manning, who came into Sunday with 169. Brady is 57-5 in his last 62 home games, including the playoffs.
The Patriots scored 10 points in the last 4:14 of the second quarter to take a 10-3 lead. Brady capped a 15-play, 84-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski, who shook off linebacker Kaluka Maiava and caught the ball as he went over the middle.
The Patriots had a chance for another touchdown when they reached the 2-yard line with 8 seconds left in the half. But Dan Connolly’s snap was low and Brady picked it up and quickly threw an incompletion, stopping the clock with 3 seconds remaining. Gostkowski then kicked a 21-yard field goal.
Notes: With Jones-Drew sidelined for the second straight week with a right hand injury, Carr remained winless as a pro. ... The Raiders planned to leave after the game for London, where they face the Miami Dolphins next Sunday.