The Oakland Raiders had pulled within six yards of tying the game as the clock ticked down in the fourth quarter, but veteran nose tackle Vince Wilfork played the hero with his third career interception.
Rookie quarterback Derek Carr had the ball in the red zone as the Raiders trailed 16-9 with less than a minute on the clock. First, Darren McFadden carried it in for a touchdown, which was voided by a holding penalty. Then, with 59 seconds on the clock, Carr took the ball that Wilfork picked.
The Raiders had narrowed their deficit to a point in the third quarter, but a pair of fourth-quarter Stephen Gostkowski kicks increased the Pats lead to seven.
The sole Patriots touchdown came courtesy of Rob Gronkowski, spiking a celebration by fans on Twitter, who used the hashtag "#GronkSpike."
In addition to the Gronk touchdown, Tom Brady threw for 234 yards, completing 24 throws for 37 attempts. Julian Edelman was again his primary target, making 10 catches for 84 yards.
Brandon LaFell made four catches for 46 yards and Gronkowski made three catches for 44.
Carr threw for 174 yards, completing 21 of 34 attempted passes.
McFadden led both teams with 59 rushing yards. Stevan Ridley led New England with 54 on 19 carries.
Shane Vereen ran for 20 yards and received four passes for another 17 yards.
The game may have been too close, considering veteran Raiders safety Charles Woodson's recent proclamation that "We suck," but New England improves to 2-1 on the season.
Oakland remains winless.