As the clock struck zero, New England Patriots fans expected to head to overtime when one of the most shocking plays in NFL history occurred.
Running back Rhamondre Stevenson tossed a lateral to receiver Jakobi Meyers, who then attempted to do the same to quarterback Mac Jones, before Raiders defensive end Chandler Jones picked off the backwards pass and scored the game-winning touchdown.
Even though it was a disappointing loss, there are still some positives to draw from a few stars that offered a glimmer of hope, mostly by doing everything they could to at least keep the Patriots in the game.
First Star: Rhamondre Stevenson
Rhamondre Stevenson carried the ball 19 times for 172 rushing yards and a touchdown. Clearly, the only glimmer of hope for the Patriots offense this season has been Stevenson’s emergence.
He can pound out the tough yards on the ground, but he also has the versatility to serve as a reliable receiver as well. The arrow is pointing higher every week on the second-year running back.
What’s even more impressive is this is all being done in an offensive system crumbling around him, but he still managed to keep the Patriots in the game with his feet.
Second Star: Ja'Whaun Bentley
Bentley has been an unsung hero this season for the Patriots defense, but this game really showed it. He led the Patriots in tackles and notched a sack against the Raiders .
More importantly, his tackles all seemed to come on important downs and assisted in the passing game.
Even though he has been considered more of a downhill linebacker, he showed up in both facets and has been the field general all year long for the Patriots defense. His continued evolution as a big-time playmaker can only mean good things for the team considering how heavily they rely on their defense.
Third Star: Nick Folk
Nick Folk scored 10 of the 24 points in this game and came up huge from a 54-yard distance when called upon.
In a seemingly terrible game across the board from a Patriots team that imploded in the end, Folk was a true mainstay and is deserving of the third star for this week.
Perhaps the most impressive part is that Folk is still doing it at 38 years old. He has come up clutch time and time again for the Patriots in a year where they’ve struggled to come away with touchdowns, particularly in the red zone, and Sunday’s game against the Raiders was no different.