Sam Darnold threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score, leading the New York Jets to an impressive 34-3 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday for their first three-game winning streak in more than two years.
Brian Poole returned an interception 15 yards for a TD and the rest of the Jets defense made things miserable for Derek Carr, who was pulled by coach Jon Gruden with just under two minutes left in the third quarter.
The Raiders (6-5) came into a rain-soaked MetLife Stadium on a three-game winning streak with an eye on a possible AFC West first-place showdown at Kansas City next week. Instead, they got outplayed by a suddenly resurgent Jets (4-7) team that pulled away in the second half.
Darnold was 20 of 29 for 315 yards — the fourth 300-yard game of his career — with TDs to Robby Anderson and Ryan Griffin in another efficient outing that helped New York to its first three-game winning streak since Weeks 3-5 of the 2017 season. The Jets didn’t punt until the two-minute mark of the third quarter.
With the game out of reach, coach Adam Gase took Darnold out in the closing minutes and had backup David Fales finish.
New York took a 13-3 lead into halftime and came out quickly in the second half. On the Jets’ third play of the third quarter, Braxton Berrios took a short pass from Darnold on a slant and zipped down the field for 69 yards before being pushed out of bounds at the 1. Darnold found a wide-open Ryan Griffin for a touchdown on the next play.
Griffin, signed to a three-year contract extension Saturday night, has a career-high five touchdown catches this season.
The Jets’ No. 1-ranked run defense then came up big on Oakland’s first possession of the second half, stuffing Alec Ingold for no gain on fourth and one from the Raiders’ 39.
New York took over and used some razzle-dazzle, Darnold handing off to Bilal Powell, who flipped it to Jamison Crowder — who then tossed it back to the Jets quarterback. Darnold then threw to Anderson, who reached up for a 30-yard gain. Three plays later, Darnold connected with Anderson again for a one-yard touchdown.
On the Raiders’ next possession, Carr’s first-down pass was deflected by Neville Hewitt and landed in Poole’s hands. The Jets cornerback ran it in from 15 yards, giving New York a 34-3 lead.
Carr lasted one more series before being pulled for Mike Glennon. Carr finished 15-of-27 passing for 127 yards with the pick-6.
Rookie Josh Jacobs, fourth in the NFL in rushing, was held to 34 on 10 carries. The Jets came in allowing a league-low 79.1 yards rushing, and gave up 67 to Oakland.