OAKLAND — Marshawn Lynch’s Oakland homecoming turned into a dance party.
Lynch celebrated his first home game for his hometown team by running for a touchdown and delighting the fans with a lengthy sideline dance in the fourth quarter of the Raiders 45-20 victory against the New York Jets on Sunday.
“That’s Marshawn being Marshawn, playing for his hometown team,” left tackle Donald Penn said. “If you grow up as a kid and grow up rooting for a team and then you get to play for them, wouldn’t that be a dream? I’m just happy for him. He’s living a childhood dream.”
Lynch ran for 45 yards on 12 carries, scoring on a 2-yard run late in the first half. He kept the ball and said after the game he plans to give it to his mother. He then generated perhaps even bigger cheers during a sideline dance that was shown on the videoboard during a stoppage in the fourth quarter, prompting cheers of “Beast Mode! Beast Mode!”
“It got me fired up,” coach Jack Del Rio said. “You can see the pure passion that he has. These are his people. These are my people. He played well. I know he was really happy to have his first game go like that.”
Moments like these were why Lynch decided to come out of retirement this offseason. He made his decision after the Raiders announced plans to move to Las Vegas in 2020. Lynch said he wanted to give something back to his hometown fans and he delivered in a big way.
He was greeted with loud cheers in pregame introductions and that continued throughout the game.
His teammates provided many more things to cheer. Derek Carr threw three TD passes to Michael Crabtree, and Cordarrelle Patterson and Jalen Richard each added long touchdown runs to help give the Raiders (2-0) wins in the opening two games of the season for the first time since their AFC championship season in 2002.
Josh McCown threw two TD passes to Jermaine Kearse, but the Jets (0-2) proved to be no match for the more powerful and talented Raiders.
The Raiders vaunted offensive line won the matchup against New York’s front four , allowing no sacks and helping clear holes for a 180-yard rushing performance.
“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.”
Oakland wore down the Jets and got a 43-yard touchdown run by Patterson late in the third quarter and a 52-yarder by Richard early in the fourth that made it 35-13.
CARR TO CRAB
Carr and Crabtree were in sync all game. With the Jets looking for a run from Lynch from the 2 in the first quarter, Carr found Crabtree on a fade for a TD. The two connected again on a 26-yard score in the second quarter and then a 1-yarder in the fourth quarter that made it 42-13.
After falling behind 14-0, the Jets got back into the game and were set to take possession late in the first half trailing by only four. But Kalif Raymond dropped a punt that Johnny Holton recovered for Oakland at the 4. Three plays later, Lynch ran it in from the 2 to make it 21-10 at the half.
“You’ve got a job to do, then you’ve got to go back there and do it,” Raymond said. “I think it was a big change in the game. It’s definitely one I wish I could have back.”
The Raiders were a little overaggressive. They committed three unnecessary roughness penalties and one unsportsmanlike conduct foul in the first half, helping extend the drives that led to 10 points for the Jets. The culprits were Lee Smith, Jon Feliciano, Bruce Irvin and Marquel Lee.
With their top two tight ends Eric Tomlinson and Jordan Leggett out with injuries, the Jets often used six or even seven lineman to make up for their absence. ... New York G Brian Winters (abdomen) and LB Freddie Bishop (ankle) were hurt during the game. ... Raiders CB Sean Smith was out with a neck injury, giving rookie Gareon Conley lots of playing time in his debut.