New England. London. Mexico. Mars. Whatever. It doesn't matter where it is. Put Tom Brady on a football field and watch him do magic.
At age 40, Brady continued what has been a historically brilliant—and perhaps MVP worthy—season. He completed 30 of his 37 passes, breaking the Raiders defense down by finding success throwing to every one of his skill-position groups.
Brandin Cooks led all players with 149 receiving yards on six receptions, highlighted by a 64-yard touchdown catch on the first drive of the third quarter. The Patriots scored the first 30 points of the game before the Raiders had their lone touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Danny Amendola (six receptions, 66 yards) and Dion Lewis (88 total yards) also caught touchdowns. Seven different Patriots hauled in two or more passes overall.
The only battle the Patriots lost all game was time of possession, which was mostly because they scored too quickly to hold onto the ball.
Derek Carr threw for 237 yards and a touchdown against an interception but needed 49 attempts to get there. The Patriots secondary limited all downfield throws and only began to allow leeway in the fourth quarter when playing off coverage. Five Oakland drives went for less than 30 yards, and the Raiders shot themselves in the foot on the ones that did not.
An Amari Cooper offensive pass interference call halted a drive in the second quarter that reached New England territory. A Seth Roberts lost fumble stopped a drive inside the Patriots 5-yard line. The Patriots carried a 17-0 lead into the halftime break that could have easily been 17-14 or 17-10.
Instead, the Patriots took advantage of Oakland's miscues in the first half before pulling away for good in the second.
New England, which was the subject of some handwringing after a 2-2 start, has reeled off six straight victories. The Patriots are one win away from their 17th consecutive winning season and appear to be a mortal lock for their ninth straight division championship. They've won the division in 13 consecutive years where Brady has been healthy.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are the only other team in the AFC with two or fewer losses. With games against struggling divisional foes (two vs. Dolphins, one at Bills) before their Dec. 17 matchup in Pittsburgh, the Patriots should be able to find themselves in commanding position for home-field advantage coming into that contest.
The Raiders, once fashionable preseason Super Bowl pick, now sit 4-6. Nearly every aspect of their season has been a disappointment, and they'll host an equally disappointing Denver Broncos team next weekend.