Raiders fans take over Qualcomm, turn clincher into 'road game' for Chargers

Raiders fans take over Qualcomm, turn clincher into 'road game' for Chargers

SAN DIEGO – Quarterback Derek Carr believes the Raiders always have an extra home game on the slate when they play in San Diego.

Raider Nation routinely gobbles up tickets when their team plays at Qualcomm Stadium – it’s the closest game for a massive Los Angeles fan contingent – but they blacked out the building on Sunday afternoon.

The Chargers’ largest crowd of the year seemed to be 75 percent Raiders fans, spurred on by the Raiders solid season and the ability to clinch a playoff spot with a win.

“It seems like a strange thing, but that’s just how it is when we come here,” Carr said after a 19-16 victory clinched a playoff berth. “When we come to San Diego, our fans turn it into a home game. We feel like we get nine home games a year. It’s no disrespect to them; it’s just how our fans come out and support us.”

Raiders fans cheered wildly, especially when the Chargers were deep in their own territory. Longer tenured Raiders expected a vocal contingent, though maybe not to such a dramatic extent.

Newbies were left in awe. Count Bruce Irvin among them. He was able to pump up the crowd while the Chargers attempted a comeback.

“It was crazy,” Irvin said. “I’ve never been in an away stadium where the away fan base just took over the game like that. When I was pumping the crowd up, it felt like I was at the Coliseum. Raider Nation definitely played a part in us bringing it back to Oakland. We appreciate the support, and hopefully we can get that for the rest of the year.”

The Chargers used a silent count all afternoon, and the team chose not announce their starters before the game. They said it was to come out as a team, but it likely had more to do with concerns over the home team getting booed. That happened during pregame warm-ups, and would’ve happened during a role call.

“It was a road game,” Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said. “…We were ready for it and we kind of embraced it. There was some uniqueness in, ‘hey, let’s extend their berth into the season one more week in front of essentially their fans and their place.’ We were right there. We just couldn’t get it done.”

The Raiders knew what was at stake for a fan base that had suffered for so long. They were happy to reward such a massive contingent with a win.

“It was pretty awesome to see,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “…There were a lot of black shirts out there. A lot of silver and black, a lot of pride, and a lot of happy people right now.”

Raiders sign linebacker with Paul Guenther connection


Raiders sign linebacker with Paul Guenther connection

The Raiders entered this free agency period needing defensive help throughout the depth chart. They signed presumptive starters earlier in this veteran acquisition process, but didn’t stop there.

The Silver and Black have added depth this week especially, signing a key cog in linebacker Emmanuel Lamur on Wednesday afternoon.

Lamur spent the last two years in Minnesota and the previous four in Cincinnati with new Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. Guenther was his position coach from 2012-13 and his DC from 2014-15. He also knows Raiders linebackers coach David Lippincott from the Bengals days

Lamur has primarily been a reserve, but Guenther gave him an opportunity to start in 2014. He had 59 tackles and two interceptions in 13 starts that year as a strongside linebacker.

The Raiders have options at that spot, but no firm starter at this stage if Bruce Irvin plays defensive end full time.

Lamur hasn’t played much defense the last two years, but is known as a quality special teams contributor. The Raiders have signed several of those players in an attempt to improve coverage and returns.

All told, the Raiders have signed 14 unrestricted free agents with a shot to make the 53-man roster since last week began. The roster will turnover significantly in Jon Gruden’s return to the Raiders, and it’s possible he signs more players in coming days.

The Raiders are still looking for upgrades at receiver, and might add another bargain defensive lineman.

Report: Ndamukong Suh calls off meeting with Raiders


Report: Ndamukong Suh calls off meeting with Raiders

Ndamukong Suh won’t meet with the Raiders, after all. The star defensive tackle cut Alameda out of his free-agent tour, according to NFL Network, choosing instead to head home after stops in New Orleans, Tennessee and the L.A. Rams.

NFLN reports that Suh had dinner with Rams coach Sean McVay on Tuesday night, and was due in Oakland the following day. The Rams made a solid impression

Suh is reportedly mulling options from all three aforementioned playoff teams, all of which have more working salary-cap space and other stalwarts along the defensive line.

That’s surely a disappointment for the Raiders, who have had interest in Suh dating back to his last free-agent experience in 2015. The Silver and Black couldn’t afford him then. It seems unlikely they can afford him now, with precious little salary-cap space remaining after being active in free agency’s second wave.

The Raiders also hope to lock Khalil Mack up long-term with a massive extension this offseason.

It’s uncertain at this stage whether player or team cancelled the meeting, or exactly why it was called off. The Raiders could still sign a veteran defensive tackle, and/or acquire one early in the NFL Draft.