The Oakland Raiders said goodbye to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum when they hosted the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 15. With the team headed to Las Vegas next year, the Raiders’ 2019 home closer was the final sendoff to the Oakland faithful.
Although the game started out in favor of the Raiders, it ended poorly as the Jaguars completed a 20-16 come-from-behind victory. The Jaguars were held without a touchdown in the first half, but returned the favor to the Raiders in the second half, outscoring Oakland, 17-0, to break the heart of the thousands in attendance in Oakland for the final time.
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden apologized to the fans for dropping what may have been the Raiders most important game of the season, via Jimmy Durkin of The Athletic:
“[We were] hoping for a lot better finish than that. I think the most important thing, before we talk about the game is – I’d like to thank the fans. I’d like to thank the city of Oakland for being faithful, in all kinds of seasons. I’ll miss them, I love them and sorry about the outcome today, but that’s something that needs to be said with an explanation point. I really apologize that we weren’t able to deliver a victory. Proud of our team’s hustle and effort. We had numerous opportunities to make a play there in the ball game, but we didn’t do it and I’ll be happy to answer any questions I can.”
Although the Raiders have put in the effort, Gruden’s apology can only do so much after another disappointing loss. The Raiders 2019 season was often filled with games that were defined by just one half, much like this one.
This marks the Raiders’ fourth loss in a row and second straight where they were shut out in the second half. Although there is no telling what truly went wrong, clearly something needs to change. The Raiders’ defense had been solid earlier in the year but appears to have regressed, allowing opposing offenses to score with ease in late-game situations.
While there have been plenty of good memories in Oakland, the last few years have been tough, to say the least. Since they moved back to Oakland 25 years ago, the Raiders have only amassed four winning seasons. Although it is sad to see them leave the Bay Area, hopefully Las Vegas will lead to better days.
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