Tom Brady is just 8/17 for 121 yards, easily his worst first half of the season, but the defense has made some critical stops to keep the Patriots in front 17-10 at the half in Oakland against the Raiders.
Sebastian Janikowski staked the Raiders to an early lead with a 28 yard field goal, but Brady marched the Patriots 90 yards on the ensuing possession, hitting receiver Wes Welker for a 15 yard touchdown to put the Pats up 7-3.
The Raiders would answer with an impressive drive early in the second quarter, capped off by a one yard plunge by Raiders running back Michael Bush, to give them the lead back at 10-7.
Benjarvus Green-Ellis would answer for the Patriots just three minutes later when he pushed the through the pile at the goal line from yard out to regain the lead for the Pats at 14-10.
The Raiders were set to answer again, but on 2nd and goal from the Patriots six yard line, quarterback Jason Campbell threw an interception in the back of the endzone to safety Pat Chung to kill the drive. Chung was making his return from a broken hand.
The Patriots wound close out the half two minutes later with a 44 yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski.
Brady’s sub-par first half has been offset by a strong running attack which has racked up 88 yards on just 13 carries (6.8 yards per carry). Wes Welker has three catches for 60 yards a week after setting a career high with over 200 yards receiving.
For the Raiders, Jason Campbell has been very efficient despite his late interception, completing 11/15 passes for 144 yards. But, the story has been the Raiders vaunted running attack. Darren McFadden has 57 yards on eight carries, but 41 of those came on just one carry. The Pats defense has done an admirable job limiting the league’s leading rusher.