OAKLAND, Calif. — Derek Carr threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to rookie Hunter Renfrow with 2:04 left and Karl Joseph broke up a fourth-down pass in the end zone with three seconds to play to give the Raiders a 31-24 victory against the Lions on Sunday in their first game back in Oakland in seven weeks.
After surviving an odyssey that forced them to travel about 20,000 miles for four road games and a neutral-site game in London, the Raiders (4-4) came back home for the first time since losing to the Chiefs on Sept. 15. They put on quite a show for the fans who are hoping the Raiders can put together a successful season before their planned move to Las Vegas next year.
Carr’s clutch pass to Renfrow gave Oakland the win to start the crucial three-game homestand. Carr also connected with rookie Foster Moreau on a three-yard score in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter, and another rookie, Josh Jacobs, ran for 120 yards and two touchdowns. It was the first time since the merger that the Raiders got four touchdowns from rookies in one game.
Matthew Stafford threw for 406 yards and three touchdowns but came up short at the end as the Lions (3-4-1) lost for the fourth time in five games.
Stafford moved Detroit down to the 1 in the closing seconds. On the Lions’ final play, he threw the ball up for tight end Logan Thomas, but Joseph was there to prevent the catch, sealing the victory for the Raiders.
“I give a lot of credit to [Joseph],” Thomas said. “He made the play. I thought I had a good shot. I feel personally that I should be able to make the play.”
Carr threw for 289 yards and connected on passes of 31 and 23 yards to Jalen Richard on the game-winning drive. Then with Oakland facing a third down, Carr scrambled to extend the play before finding Renfrow in the front corner of the end zone.
‘‘I saw it in [Carr’s] eyes today,” Richard said. “It’s in his eyes all the time, but in times where you really, really need it, you just look at him, and you just see that greatness coming, and you’re like, ‘OK, he’s going to give us an opportunity, so we got to make the plays.’ ”
The offenses dominated the first three quarters with neither team punting during that stretch. The Raiders went ahead 24-17 on Carr’s pass to Moreau early in the fourth quarter.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow,” Lions linebacker Devon Kennard said. “The last few weeks have been on us defensively. I feel like if we’d play better defensively, we’d be in a much better position.
‘‘But you can’t panic. It’s halfway through the season. We’ve got eight more games left, a lot of ball to be played. I believe in the guys in this locker room. We have to get this fixed. It starts with defense, controlling what you can control. Once we do that, we’ll be all right.”
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