OAKLAND -- With fewer than three minutes to go Sunday, Derek Carr sprinted out of the pocket. He found a lane to the right, picked up the first down and slid inbounds. Carr popped up, fired the ball and let out a primal scream toward the stands.
In Carr's mind, that first down -- with the Jaguars having only one timeout left -- had just sealed a Raiders' win in the final game at the Coliseum. He had delivered on something he knew was of the utmost importance to those who bleed silver and black. He threw up an 'O' and swaggered back to the huddle unaware the officials had ruled he didn't give himself up inbounds and therefore the clock stopped at 2:05, giving the Jaguars a sliver of life.
Carr thought the game reached the two-minute warning after his slide, so he was late getting back to the huddle and was flagged for a delay of game. Head coach Jon Gruden tried to challenge the call that Carr went out of bounds, but the play was not reviewable.
Two minutes later, the Raiders were walking off the field after being stunned by the Jags. The extra time afforded to Jacksonville ended up being the difference, as quarterback Gardner Minshew marched the Jags 75 yards in 1:13, hitting Chris Conley for the game-winning touchdown to shock the Raiders and their fans, 20-16.
"I've never seen anything like it," Jon Gruden said after the game. "People up in the press box are clearly telling me he gave himself up in the field of play. And I'm waiting for the clock to wind to two minutes. I'm still waiting. And it never happened. Unbelievable. I thought somebody would overturn it. I thought that's the reasoning for instant replay. We've had New York City chime in and make a couple calls -- one in Kansas City, one in New York -- and I thought they'd make one today to correct it. Obviously, it was a big play in that situation We'll see what the league says about it."
The Raiders and their fans were mostly speechless after a loss that sucked the air out of a party-like atmosphere at the final game in Oakland. The Silver and Black controlled the game from the opening kick. Carr hit Tyrell Williams for a 40-yard score on the first possession. A rager, one that started in the parking lot hours before kickoff, seemed to be in order.
But the Raiders played with fire. The offense stalled, the defense got relaxed and a blown call cost Carr, Gruden and the Raiders the ending they hoped to deliver for the throngs of fans in attendance to bid adieu to their beloved team.
"It was one of the more shocking moments of my life," Carr said of the call. "If I'm being honest. I understand the rule differently I guess. I don't want to get into that. If they want to talk about it, y'all can have a press conference with the refs. Maybe they'll do that someday. I won't get into what they said. I'll keep my money in my pocket."
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After the call, you could feel the energy shift in the Coliseum. Fans started chanting expletives at the officials before Daniel Carlson missed a field goal that would have pushed the Raiders' lead to six, and well before Minshew hit Conley for the decisive score. Like they were prepared to be talking about Carr's slide for years to come.
The clock hit zero with Carr's Hail-Mary attempt landing on the turf, and the anger in the stadium turned to the quarterback. He was ferociously booed when he walked over to the black hole after the loss. Water bottles and nachos were flung onto the field as the Oakland era came to a close with the Raiders snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
What could have been for the
Oakland Las Vegas Raiders.