The New England Patriots take on the Oakland Raiders in their home opener at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, September 21, 2014.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) --The New England Patriots needed a last-minute defensive play to bail out a sluggish offense and hold on for a 16-9 victory over the winless Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
Tom Brady threw a touchdown pass, Stephen Gostkowski kicked three field goals and 325-pound tackle Vince Wilfork intercepted a pass near his goal line to end Oakland's final chance.
That gave the Patriots the ball with 51 seconds left after Logan Ryan jarred it loose from intended receiver Denarius Moore. On the previous play, Darren McFadden's 6-yard potential tying run into the end zone was nullified by a holding penalty against guard Gabe Jackson. That put the ball at the 16.
Ryan redeemed himself for a pass interference penalty on the play before McFadden's run.
The Patriots won their 12th home opener in 13 seasons, while the Raiders (0-3) lost their 15th straight game in the Eastern time zone. They were held to three field goals by Sebastian Janikowski.
Brady became the third quarterback with 150 regular-season wins behind Brett Favre (186) and Peyton Manning, who came into Sunday with 169. He is 57-5 in his last 62 home games, including the playoffs.
The Patriots scored 10 points in the last 4:14 of the second quarter to take a 10-3 lead. Brady capped a 15-play, 84-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski, who shook off linebacker Kaluka Maiava and caught the ball as he went over the middle.
The Patriots (2-1) had a chance for another touchdown when they reached the 2-yard line with 8 seconds left in the half. But Dan Connolly's snap was low and Brady picked it up and quickly threw an incompletion, stopping the clock with 3 seconds remaining. Gostkowski then kicked a 21-yard field goal.
Derek Carr completed 21 of 34 passes for 174 yards for Oakland. But with running back Maurice Jones-Drew sidelined for the second straight week with a right hand injury, the rookie remained winless as a pro. McFadden started in Jones-Drew's spot and rushed for 59 yards on 18 carries.
The Raiders planned to leave after the game for London, where they face the Miami Dolphins next Sunday.