Raiders

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

Raiders

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.