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Burkhead’s 3 TDs power Patriots to 36-20 win over Raiders

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Rex Burkhead scored three touchdowns and Bill Belichick became the third coach in NFL history to reach 275 regular-season victories in the New England Patriots’ 36-20 win over the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday.

Sony Michel finished with nine carries for 117 yards. Burkhead had two rushing scores and an 11-yard TD reception.

Cam Newton was 17 of 28 passing for 162 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Shilique Calhoun had two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery for a score.

The Patriots have won the last six meetings with the Raiders and improved to 47-9 in regular-season games following a loss. Raiders coach Jon Gruden dropped to 0-3 against Belichick.

Derek Carr finished 24 of 32 for 261 yards and a two TDs for Las Vegas. But he had two fumbles which led to a New England field goal and a late touchdown when he lost the ball in the end zone and it was recovered by Calhoun. Josh Jacobs also had a fumble.

Las Vegas opened the season by scoring at least 34 points in its first two games with six red zone touchdowns. The Raiders were also second in the NFL, converting on 57 percent of third downs.

They went just 2 for 5 in the red zone and 3 of 9 on third down Sunday.

The offenses were stagnant early as both teams struggled to get into a groove because of turnovers and poor performance on third down.

Things changed for the Patriots on their first drive of the third quarter when Michel, who struggled in the first two games, broke free for a 38-yard run.

A 15-yard pass from Newton to Burkhead got the Patriots into the red zone. Three plays later Burkhead capped the drive with a spinning 5-yard TD run to stretch New England’s lead to 20-10.

After both teams traded field goals, the Patriots took over with 11:22 remaining and ate up more than five minutes of clock with a 10-play, 86-yard drive that was capped with a 5-yard TD plunge by Burkhead.

FAST AND FURIOUS

It took until the final minute of the first half for both teams to reach the end zone.

Leading 6-3, Newton found Burkhead over the middle for a short pass, which he carried the rest of the way for a leaping 11-yard touchdown with 34 seconds left.

Following the kickoff, the Raiders got help from a pass interference call on Stephon Gilmore to get into Patriots territory. Two plays later Carr hooked up with Hunter Renfrow for a 26-yard completion to get to the 1. He then found tight end Foster Moreau for a 1-yard TD to trim New England’s lead to 13-10.

MOVING PIECES

Both teams were missing key starters.

The Raiders played without speedy rookie receiver Henry Ruggs III because of injuries to his knee and hamstring. Also sidelined were starting right tackle Trent Brown (calf) and linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski (pectoral muscle). Left guard Richie Incognito (Achilles tendon) went on injured reserve Wednesday. Agholor started at receiver, rookie John Simpson at left guard and Denzelle Good at right tackle.

The Patriots were down center David Andrews and rookie linebacker Josh Uche after both were placed on IR Saturday. Running back James White was also out for the second straight game following the passing of his father. Joe Thuney shifted over to center, and rookie Michael Onwenu started at left guard.

INJURIES

Raiders: Cornerback Damon Arnette left with a thumb injury.

UP NEXT

Raiders: Host Buffalo next Sunday.

Patriots: Visit defending champion Kansas City next Sunday.

___

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