OAKLAND – Well, that didn’t go well. The Raiders were hoping to win their last game at Oakland Coliseum for the fans who made this decrepit stadium special, but completely unraveled in the fourth quarter against the Jaguars and blew it.
The Raiders were terrible down the stretch in a heart-wrenching 20-16 loss that will always stick with those who were here to witness it.
Head coach Jon Gruden, who celebrates each victory with the Black Hole, took a quick exit through the tunnel.
Fans mercilessly booed players who stayed on the field to pay respects, even those who tried to engage directly with fans. Objects were thrown on the field. Somebody even sent a perfectly good plate of nachos toward the grass in disgust.
There was nothing redeeming about the end, a failure in every phase down the stretch. That included Derek Carr's final Hail Mary pass, which hit Keelan Doss in the helmet and tumbled harmlessly to the turf.
There are some bad grades a ‘coming in this week’s Raiders report card.
Josh Jacobs returned from a one-game absence and got right back to his productive ways. He ran 24 times for 89 yards, despite dealing with a fractured shoulder. He has gritted it out since Week 7, succumbing only last week to a painful injury. He was able to keep the offense moving well, bolstering his case to be the NFL offensive rookie of the year.
The Raiders ran for 128 yards on 32 carries, a solid showing behind the feature back they sorely missed a week ago. Jacobs is clearly the team’s best player, who should be respected for his performance and his grit.
The Raiders need a complete overhaul at receiver. They should keep Hunter Renfrow and strongly consider ditching everyone else. This group doesn’t get open enough, with several that Carr doesn’t trust. Tyrell Williams had a 40-yard touchdown to open the scoring but had a huge third-down drop in the fourth quarter that was a major moment in the Raiders loss.
Darren Waller had another big day and has now exceeded 1,000 yards on the season. Waller belongs in the Pro Bowl. Without him, they don’t have much left in the pattern.
The Jaguars couldn’t do anything on the ground. Leonard Fournette averaged 2.8 yards per carry and the Jaguars had 3.5 ypc as a team. It was another strong effort by Johnathan Hankins and his crew. That helped the defense control most of this game, until the wheels fell off in the fourth quarter.
The Raiders made several changes to their defensive personnel, especially in the sub packages. They seemed to work well early, with the Jaguars struggling to do much of anything through three quarters beyond an early deep shot to Keelan Cole. Then they couldn’t stop the Jaguars at all over two late touchdown drives that stole victory from the Silver and Black.
Maxx Crosby had another sack. Dion Jordan had a strong game as well. Clelin Ferrell didn’t make a huge impact in this one. And, when it mattered most, Gardner Minshew was successful throwing the ball.
Daniel Carlson missed from 50 yards out late in the fourth quarter, but he got a redo after a Jaguars penalty. Then he missed from 45 yards out, starting a sequence of events that led to the Raiders' demise. Carlson has missed seven kicks since Week 9. It will be interesting to see if the team sticks with him beyond the season.
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The Jaguars are terrible. Like, really bad. The Raiders had a layup, an easy path to victory in the Oakland Coliseum finale. They blew it. There’s no other way to say it. They couldn’t secure victory with a long final drive. They couldn’t make a field goal after that drive stalled, and the defense couldn’t stop the Jags from marching right down the field for a victory.
This was a failure on every level and sent East Bay fans home for the final time with a bad taste in their mouth.