Raiders

Raiders left shocked by ugly collapse vs. Jaguars in Oakland finale

Raiders left shocked by ugly collapse vs. Jaguars in Oakland finale

OAKLAND -- The kegs were tapped early Sunday morning in the Oakland Coliseum parking lot. A party that was equal parts rave and costume party with a hint of funeral got fired up as Raider fans prepared to send their beloved Silver and Black off to Vegas with a win over the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars and a rager fitting of those who ramble to the hallowed, rotting Coliseum grounds on fall Sundays. 

Drinks were flowing, carnitas were consumed and the Raiders jumped out to a 16-3 halftime lead. Tyrell Williams scored on a 40-yard touchdown to open the game. The party powder keg was preparing to be lit and they would have had to drag every fan out of the stadium. The lights would only go out once every beer had been consumed and every tale of SIlver and Black glory had been told and told again. 

Then, it all came crashing down. 

These are, after all, the Raiders. Not the Patriots. There was to be no happy ending. They delivered one in Charles Woodson's final game in 2015. And again on Christmas Eve last year in what could have been the final Oakland game. 

The third time was not a charm. 

The Jaguars scored 17 unanswered second-half points, aided by a blown call on a Derek Carr slide, a Williams drop and a missed Daniel Carlson field goal that set them up for their 75-yard game-winning drive. 

Final score: Jaguars 20, Raiders 16

"Yeah, I'm still emotional, like angry about it," Carr said after the loss. "There were a few plays we left out there, but there's nothing I can say right now that's going to make anybody feel better." 

The atmosphere turned from rave to riot on a dime. 

When officials ruled Carr slid out of bounds and not inbounds, giving the Jaguars life and time to get the ball back, cries of, "F--k you, ref" rained down before the Jags plunged a dagger into the heart of Oakland. 

"It sucks," Maxx Crosby said, unable to process the loss. "We lost. We had the game in our hands. We didn't finish. We didn't do enough to win. Yeah, it hurts." 

Those who had shown up to celebrate the team, the memories and bid adieu to the Silver and Black let their frustrations out when the Jaguars took the lead with 31 seconds remaining. Bottles were thrown. Concourse nachos, retail value $11, were fired into the end zone in disgust. The fake cheese sauce serving as a perfect representation of the effort the Raiders' secondary gave on the Jaguars' game-winning drive. 

When Carr's Hail Mary attempt clanged off the head of wide receiver Keelan Doss and onto the turf, the anger reached a boiling point

Linebacker Marquel Lee and Carr were booed as they went into the Black Hole. Bottles still raining down from the stands. 

Jon Gruden, long a lover of the "nuts" in the Black Hole, gave a cursory glance, and it was exit stage left. 

There were no words for the loss. No words to console those losing the football team they love so much. No words to explain away a meltdown that fit perfectly with an Oakland farewell that included the Coliseum crowd jeering a BART announcement about a broken elevator. 

Most fans in attendance might never see their Raiders live again. Their lasting memory will be a collapse against a team that had lost six straight games and had two first downs midway through the third quarter. 

"The energy just felt like we were going to come away with that win," safety Erik Harris said. "And all of a sudden it was like the tables were turned. At what point did it happen, I couldn’t even tell you. I’m still sitting here like, ‘How did we lose that game?’"

Search for answers but there are none to be found. The Raiders plain and simple choked. 

The emotions of the moment weren't too big for them. Most of the players haven't been Raiders long enough to have a connection with Oakland or the fans. But no matter if they have been Raiders for a day or six years, they will forever be apart of the Coliseum finale meltdown. Sure to hold an unwanted place in Raiders franchise lore. 

[RELATED: Gruden apologizes for losing Oakland finale

The parking lot of Oakland Coliseum was expected to be raging long after the Raiders left the field victorious Sunday. Everyone had planned for it, 

Instead, fans, both shocked and disgusted, gave parting boos, middle fingers and other unpleasantries, turned their backs, packed up their stuff and hightailed it home. 

Last one out, turn off the lights.

Why reported Darius Slay trade from Lions makes sense for Raiders

Why reported Darius Slay trade from Lions makes sense for Raiders

The Raiders were on the verge of the playoffs this past season, but their passing game took yet another step back. Besides the emergence of rookie Trayvon Mullen, the Silver and Black have plenty of question marks at cornerback as they move to Las Vegas. 

There could be help available, though. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Monday that the Detroit Lions have talked to multiple teams regarding a trade for their Pro Bowl cornerback, Darius Slay. 

Between need, their slew of draft picks and available cap space, the Raiders could be a perfect fit for a trade with the Lions. Let's start with how Slay would fit in the defense. 

Mullen is expected to man one side of the defensive backfield at cornerback, while the other side is a bit of a mystery. Daryl Worley is a free agent this offseason, but Nevin Lawson, Nick Nelson, Keisean Nixon and Isaiah Johnson all are options. None are Slay, though. Not even close. 

Slay, 29, made his third straight Pro Bowl this last season. He also was a First Team All-Pro in 2017 when he led the NFL with eight interceptions and 26 passes defensed. Since 2014, Slay has recorded at least two interceptions and 13 passes defensed every season. 

Per advanced analytics site Pro Football Focus, Slay has been the fifth-best cornerback in the game since 2014. 

The Raiders also have the draft picks to get a deal done. They own two first-round picks -- Nos. 12 and 19 -- this April, as well as three in the third round, one in the fourth and one in the seventh. They have plenty of leverage to make a move. 

Las Vegas also lands right in the middle of current available salary-cap space going into next season. According to Spotrac, the Raiders have slightly over $51.5 million in salary-cap space. Slay, who has a $13.4 million cap hit in 2020, wants a new contract as he's set to hit free agency after this upcoming season. 

[RELATED: Ex-Raider Nnamdi Asomugha talks about his life on Broadway]

He likely would cost more than a few extra pennies, but it's clear Slay still can be a solid corner in a division where everyone is chasing QB Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. 

The Raiders could target a cornerback early in the draft. That's not out of the question at all. If the Lions are taking calls on Slay like Schefter reported, Raiders general manager Mike Mayock would be wise to listen. 

How ex-Raiders star Nnamdi Asomugha transitioned from NFL to Broadway

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USATSI

How ex-Raiders star Nnamdi Asomugha transitioned from NFL to Broadway

Nnamdi Asomugha finds himself under a new set of bright lights. The former Raiders star cornerback, who ended his 11-year NFL career with the 49ers, now finds himself on Broadway

"I started the decade at the Pro Bowl, and I ended the decade on Broadway," Asomugha said in a recent interview with CBS' Dana Jacobson, which aired Friday. "I was like, 'This was really surreal.' This is not a dream that I ever had. And now, this is so clearly what I should be doing." 

Asomugha, now 38 years old, first dabbled in the entertainment business while still playing in the NFL. Towards the end of his career, he started working as a part-time NFL analyst when Jacobson worked at ESPN. He also did a commercial for Dick's Sporting Goods in 2009, and the director gave him words of encouragement regarding his acting skills. 

The three-time Pro Bowler said he started thinking about his post-playing career long before he was done playing football. He saw early on just how quickly your career can end. 

"You better start thinking about that long before you finish your career," Asomugha said. "I mean, I started noticing really my first year in the NFL that you can go down with an injury, your career can be over. You can get cut within moments. And then what are you gonna do?" 

The Cal product soon turned his focus to acting and producing. He said he "was a rookie again" and took acting classes.

Asomugha now has a long list of credits when looking at his IMDB page. The former football star was the executive producer for Netflix's "Beasts of No Nation" in 2015, and he starred in Amazon's "Crown Heights" in 2017.

But it was the Broadway stage where Asomugha found his true calling. He felt the same kind of rush he did on the football field when he made his Broadway debut in the award-winning "A Soldier's Play" earlier in February.

"They announce you, everyone's cheering," Asomugha recalled. "I kind of ran on to the stage and began our work. And I remember at that moment just being like, 'This is where I'm supposed to be.' ... That's football, isn't it? It's live. You don't get a second take, you better get it right.

"I developed that muscle so much, I'm at my best when I'm in the fire."

[RELATED: Why Raiders signing Brady could make sense for both sides]

Asomugha finished his football career after playing three games for the 49ers in 2013. He then retired as a Raider in December of that same year. And though he has found his new calling, he admits he misses the game that first brought him so much joy.

"That was a great time," Asomugha said. "Football is definitely my first love. Now finding this world in entertainment through acting and producing -- I didn't think I would love something as much as I did, but I'm so grateful now that I do."