By W.G. RAMIREZ Associated Press
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Chase Garbers was 12 of 22 for 141 yards and the Las Vegas Raiders finished the preseason undefeated after Friday’s 23-6 victory over the New England Patriots.
It marked the first time in franchise history the Raiders (4-0) finished undefeated in the preseason.
Las Vegas coach Josh McDaniels capped the preseason with a victory over mentor Bill Belichick after sharing Las Vegas’ facility for joint practices this past week.
“I think both teams got a lot better this week, we found out a lot of things about ourselves, and that is what the point of it was,” McDaniels said. “I’m very appreciative of the guys’ effort tonight. They put a lot into this week.”
The Raiders saved their most dominating defensive effort of the preseason for the Patriots, as they had four sacks, intercepted two passes, forced three fumbles and recovered one.
“Obviously we have a really talented offense, they give us a great look every day,” cornerback Nate Hobbs said. “But as a defense, we took it upon ourselves to take the challenge. This is the team we gotta play for four weeks in camp, this is the team we gotta go head to head against, and we’ve just been bringing the competition every day, so it’s had no choice but to make both us better. Y’all just seeing the results of the habits we do every day.”
Las Vegas scored on three of its first four possessions to dominate as a group of Raiders backups and hopefuls started the game by running roughshod through the Patriots’ first-team offense and defense.
Starting quarterback Jarrett Stidham, who will back up Derek Carr in the regular season, was 4 of 6 for 72 yards while running backs Zamir White and Brittain Brown each scored a touchdown for Las Vegas.
“That was the goal coming into preseason, was to win every game and just trying to form the habit of winning,” Stidham said.
Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson was 3 for 3 with his field-goal attempts and finished the preseason a perfect 9 of 9.
New England starting quarterback Mac Jones and the Patriots’ starting offense finished the game with four possessions, two ending in a three-and-out, one with an interception, and the final one with a field goal.
Jones was 9 of 13 for 71 yards with one interception. Brian Hoyer finished 6 of 7 for 47 yards, while Bailey Zappe was 10 of 14 for 84 yards with an interception for the Patriots (1-2).
“We didn’t have a real good night tonight in any phase of the game, that’s obvious,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. “Might have left it on the practice field Tuesday and Wednesday, certainly practiced a lot better than the way we played out there tonight.”
For the preseason, across seven series, the Patriots’ starting offense had four end with a three-and-out, one in a turnover, one with a touchdown and one with a field goal.
FORMER STARS IN VEGAS
It seemed only fitting on a night more than 200 Raiders alumni gathered at Allegiant Stadium, the team made franchise history to honor the likes of Marcus Allen, Jim Plunkett, Fred Biletnikoff, Tim Brown, Ted Hendricks and many others who were in attendance.
LEARN NOT TO LOSE
At the start of training camp, Raiders coach Josh McDaniels emphasized limiting mistakes, saying, “You can’t win until you learn how to not lose.”
The Raiders did not commit a turnover the entire preseason. They also finished with 13 penalties in the four games, including just one on Friday.
Sixth-year defensive end Tashawn Bower made a strong case for a spot on the 53-man roster after a good performance with five tackles, including two sacks. He finished the preseason with 12 combined tackles and four sacks.
“I feel like I did a good job, definitely some things to clean up still, but overall think I did a good job,” Bower said.
Wide receiver Isaiah Zuber could be credited with sparking two scores for the Raiders. Four plays after hauling in his lone reception of the night to convert a third down, Carlson’s 33-yard field goal gave Las Vegas a 16-6 lead. Moments later, the former Patriot intercepted Zappe and gave the Raiders the ball at the New England 32-yard line. Brown capped the drive with his 3-yard TD to provide the final margin.
Patriots: Running back Ty Montgomery appeared to injure his right leg in the first quarter and was assisted off the field. He was taken to the locker room on a cart for further evaluation and did not return.
Raiders: Defensive tackle Tyler Lancaster was injured late in the third quarter and was assisted off the field.
The Patriots visit AFC East-rival Miami to open their season Sept. 11.
The Raiders visit their AFC West-rival L.A. Chargers for their opener the same day.
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