End of the Oakland Era (II) as only the Raiders could

The last game in Oakland started off how it should have been with the “Great” Oakland Raiders player Charles Woodson lighting the eternal flame. A buzz flowed through the air as D-Day had finally come.

It shouldn’t have ended like this. Once again, Raider Nation was promised something the team couldn’t deliver. Instead of a last fond memory in the last outing at the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum, the Raiders fell victim to the Jaguars 20-16.

Derek Carr was slinging the ball all over the field and hit Tyrell Williams for a 40 yard catch and run, which is now the team’s last touchdown in Oakland. Tight end Darren Waller had eight catches for 122 yards, and broke the 1,000 yard mark in Week 14. Josh Jacobs, who is an offensive rookie of the year candidate, suited up and gave it a go, toughing out a broken shoulder. The running back ran 24 times for 89 yards and caught 2 passes for 20 yards, breaking 100 all-purpose yards again and extending his leading rookie rushing total to 1,150 yards and seven scores on the ground.

An Inept Offense

It wasn’t just the fact the Raiders lost so much as how they lost. An offense that moved the ball at will early dried up and went away for the second straight week in the second half. A truly alarming trend has been established, one where the Raiders simply don’t score after the first half. A deeper look at the numbers show there hasn’t been a second half touchdown since the end of the Chiefs game.

The Raiders second half offenses have been so lost that if they co-starred in The Fugitive, Tommy Lee Jones wouldn’t be able to find them. It is incredible how they have been quick out of the gates but once the halftime break is up and play resumes, the team is stuck on putrid.

What about the Defense?

Throughout the season the defense has been crucified and most of the time, rightfully so. Young and inexperienced, this rendition of a defensive line has taken it’s lumps while learning on the job. Not having every down linebackers has significantly compromised this defense. Besides lacking playmakers in the secondary, the Raiders have also had a hard time finding decent defensive backs. Near worst in the league through the air, Oakland has been making rookies and scrubs look like All-Pros.

Interestingly enough, the defense may have been the cause of the loss, but were far from the only reason. The offensive struggles in the second half of games have left the defense high and dry. Being forced to defend for the majority of a half isn’t conducive to a team which is defensively challenged, so expecting them to do so is a fool’s errand.

For the first half of football (9:00) of Jaguars possession the Raiders managed to hold Jacksonville to 3 points. In the second half, which the Jaguars possessed the football for 17 minutes, they scored 17 points and came back to win.

The Penalties…

But it wouldn’t be a typical Oakland fiasco without some ol’ mess going on. Ever since the Raiders returned to Oakland, they have registered 100+ penalties for nearly every single season; the last 20 seasons in a row. That’s bad enough by itself, but the Raiders have been on the short side of some of really bad in-game calls. The Immaculate Reception, The Tuck Rule Game, The Index card and now we have “The Slide”.

About that horrible Officiating…

The NFL just couldn’t let the Raiders leave the city of Oakland without screwing them over one last time for old time’s sake. Carr faked out the entire world on a third and short play heading into the two minute warning with the Jaguars out of timeouts. He pulled the ball on an option read and took off to the right side. In his run, he crossed the first down marker and began to slide in bounds towards the sidelines.

By rule and as a means to protect the quarterback from taking unnecessary shots, when the quarterback starts his slide he is down from where it began. Initiating the motion in-bounds should have mandated the clock continued to run and decreased the Jaguars chances of scoring.

But the officials didn’t see it that way. Some way and somehow, they screwed up this ruling and ruled that signal-caller had gone out of bounds untouched and the clock would stop. Also by rule, the play was unchallengeable.

Gruden furious and with the game on the line, threw the challenge flag in hopes of getting it overturned and running another 40 precious seconds off the game clock. Instead, he was treated to losing his challenge and timeout in a blown call that arguably cost his team the game.

The End of Oakland 2.0

Final Words…

The Greatness of the old Oakland Raiders has been lost in the mediocrity of the modern Raiders. Since taking over as owner, Mark Davis has secured a new stadium and home for a team that has been 46-80 .325 since taking over in 2012. Oakland has been a moratorium for this franchise and to often a place where great careers have come to expire. Raider Nation can only hope that this new stadium will erase the losing and end their suffering.

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