OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Derek Carr’s last-second desperation heave fell to the turf in the end zone and the fans at the Oakland Coliseum went silent.
The final scheduled NFL game ever in Oakland ended with a fourth-quarter collapse by the Raiders instead of a celebration for one last win before the franchise heads to Las Vegas.
Carr and some of his teammates then went to the Black Hole as fans pelted the scrum with debris and booed Carr as he ran off the field one last time following a 20-16 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
“I’m still emotional and angry about it,” Carr said about the loss. “There are a few plays out there we left. There’s nothing I can say right now that will make anyone feel better. It won’t make me feel better.”
There was no happy spin to put on this day for the Raiders (6-8), who had hoped to give the jilted fans in Oakland one last positive memory from what has otherwise been a mostly disappointing 25 seasons since the franchise returned from Los Angeles in 1995.
Instead, the team blew a 13-point lead and was eliminated from playoff contention in a final gut punch to the fans in Oakland.
“It’s not really the result today, it’s the results of the Raiders over the years,” coach Jon Gruden said. “It’s the Oakland Raiders. It’s the appreciation, the loyalty these fans have had for the Raiders. We’re going to miss them. The relationship hopefully will never end. It was sad walking in here today and it will be sad walking out for the last time.”
The fans packed the parking lots early, turning the tailgates into a wild party of singing, dancing and food before the game. That atmosphere carried over into the stadium when fan favorite Charles Woodson lit the Al Davis torch for the final time in Oakland and dozens of former Raiders greats came onto the field for a halftime tribute.
Woodson addressed the crowd, thanking them for their support, especially over the past 17 seasons when the team posted a winning record only once.
“You’ve been here through the ups. You’ve been here through the downs. But you’ve never wavered,” Woodson told the crowd.
There was some wavering at the end as the Raiders collapsed down the stretch after breaking out to a 16-3 halftime lead. They still led 16-6 heading into the fourth quarter before the game quickly turned.
After an Oakland punt, the Jaguars drove 79 yards to cut the deficit to 16-13 with 5:15 remaining.
The Raiders tried to run out the clock and got a pair of first-down runs from Josh Jacobs and another from Carr. But Carr was ruled out of bounds with 2:05 to play after trying to slide down inbound, sparing the Jaguars from using a timeout.
“Very, very shocked,” Carr said about the call. “One of the more shocking ones of my life to be honest. I understand the rule a little differently I guess.”
Oakland then got a delay of game penalty in the confusion and Tyrell Williams dropped a third-down pass. Daniel Carlson then missed a 50-yard field goal only to get another chance after Parry Nickerson was called for running into the kicker.
Carlson missed again from 45 yards and the Jaguars took over at the 35 with 1:44 to go, setting the stage for Gardner Minshew’s second TD pass to Chris Conley in the fourth quarter with 31 seconds left.
“The energy just felt like we were going to come away with that win and then all of a sudden the tables were turned,” safety Erik Harris said. “At what point did it happen? I still couldn’t tell you. I’m still sitting here like, ‘How did we lose that game?'”
The Raiders drove to the Jacksonville 40 before Carr’s two heaves into the end zone fell incomplete, the final one bouncing off teammate Keelan Doss’ helmet with receiver Marcell Ateman in position possibly to make a game-winning catch, leading to the frustration after the game that included boos, debris thrown on the field and a few fans getting apprehended after running onto the field.
“Some of these people will never be at a Raiders game again,” Carr said. “It’s their last time, the last time they’ll go. You feel for them. It’s weird that you won’t call them the Oakland Raiders. That’s crazy. I think everybody in football thinks that’s weird whether you like us or not.”
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