It gave a jolt of momentum to the Patriots (8-2), as if they needed it in a blowout that laid bare Oakland’s anemic defense. Oakland, trailing by 30-0, finally scored in the fourth quarter, when Amari Cooper scored a touchdown on a pass from Derek Carr.
The win improved the Patriots chances for the top seed in the A.F.C. playoffs. As the game wound down, thick storm clouds menaced, mirroring the increasingly gloomy postseason outlook for Oakland (4-6).
The announced crowd of 77,000 treated this event like a Super Bowl nearly the entire