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Raiders Dominate Jets In Home Opener

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Oakland, CA – If Marshawn Lynch dancing on the sidelines in the fourth is any indication as to how successful this Raiders team can be watch out. It was another dominant performance by Oakland and its only the second week of the season. Six touchdowns, three from Michael Crabtree and Marshawn Lynch recorded his first for the season.

Oakland dominated the New York Jets 45-20 on their home opener, it was a party for everybody. The options on offense were endless for Derek Carr, who
went 23 -of-28 for 230 yards. The Raiders running game took flight and at the helm was Lynch himself. Making his home debut, he didn’t disappoint.

“We know we have a lot of talent and a lot of weapons,” said Carr. “A lot of guys that can play different and multiple positions. A guy like C.P. (Patterson) or even Marshawn. We put him at wide receiver sometimes. Being able to do all those things helps us as an offense.”

Oakland didn’t look their best on opening drive, and that was the only time the Jets defense looked good. By the next series, it was the Lynch show. A hand off from Carr to Lynch, had the running back hand the ball back to Carr before he went deep to Michael Crabtree for 26 yards.

Lynch then broke through tackles, rushing for 13 yards. That put Oakland in the red zone. Carr then lobbed a pass to Crabtree over his defender for the 2-yard touchdown. The Raiders defense did a phenomenal job of making the right stops to force New York to punt twice in the first quarter.

“It’s awesome to be 2-0, nice start to the season,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “Offense gets six touchdowns and a field goal out of 10 series. Explosive plays, no sacks, so good stuff there.”

Carr’s short pass to Jalen Richard who rushed for 39 yards setup Crabtree’s second touchdown of the day. Carr connected with Crabtree for a 26-yard touchdown making it a 14-0 game. Crabtree had 6 catches for 80 yards and the offense was just getting started. However, a few penalties proved costly for Oakland. Bruce Irvin was called for unnecessary roughness after he flipped Matt Forte after the play was dead.

That 15 yard penalty put the Jets in great field position before McCown threw a 34-yard pass to Jermaine Kearse who took one step in to the end zone for the touchdown. Another flag was thrown for unnecessary roughness and that setup Chandler Catanzaro’s 46-yard field goal.

“I think they’re watching me extra now,” said Irvin. “It was a football tackle to me but they thought differently.”

But Carr and his offense got another opportunity to score seconds before the half ended. Kalif Raymond muffed up Marquette King’s 65 yard punt. Raymond never had control of the ball while untouched, he fumbled and Johnny Holton was in the right place to recover.

Lynch then rushed in the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown, his first touchdown as a Raider this season. With 21 seconds left before the half Oakland made it a 21-10 game. Lynch got the crowd hyped when “I’m really from Oakland,” featuring Vell and DJ Mustard blared over the speakers prompting the running back to dance making the crowd go crazy!

By the second half, the Jets completely fell apart. After Catanzaro’s 46-yd field goal in the third quarter, the Raiders scored three more touchdowns. Cordarrelle Patterson rushed for a 43-yard touchdown outrunning all of his defenders. Richard rushed for a 52-yard touchdown giving Oakland a 28-13 lead in the fourth.

“We’re getting better with practice and reading plays,” Khalil Mack said when asked how well the defense is playing. “You can tell based on our communication on the field, we have great chemistry.

Mario Edwards Jr. made his first sack on Josh McCown who had a total of four sacks for the game and one fumble. The Raiders defense smothered McCown, he was sacked to end quarter. And again, in the fourth when he fumbled the ball.

That setup Crabtree’s third touchdown of the game. Carr found him for the 1-yard touchdown in the end zone making it a 42-13 game. But New York didn’t go quietly. McCown connected with Kearse for an 11-yard touchdown giving some hope the the Jets as they cut the lead in half.

Oakland is 2-0 for the first time since 2002, the chemistry of this team right now is almost perfect. All three phases of the game are on point from the offense, defense and special teams. For the next two weeks, the Raiders are on the road to Washington and Denver.

“You got to give to (Reggie) McKenzie and Jack (Del Rio), they did an incredible job in the offseason,” said Patterson. “Adding more fire power to this offense, we were already explosive but adding Marshawn, Jared Cook and to see the incredible things those guys do, how can you stop that?”

Featured

City Seeks to Work With A’s, Major League Baseball To Keep Team in Oakland

City Council leaders said it’s incorrect “that the City Council is delaying or refusing to consider the A’s project proposal,” at Howard Terminal.

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Leaders of the Oakland City Council told the head of Major League Baseball in a May 14 letter that they are willing to work with the As baseball team to keep it from moving out of the city.

    Oakland recently lost both its National Football League franchise the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas and the Golden State Warriors to San Francisco.

    The letter comes just days after MLB told the Oakland As to look for another city to play while pursuing a waterfront park in Oakland.  

    “The Oakland City Council is committed to negotiating in good  faith for a strong future for the A’s in Oakland, and we invite the As and MLB to do the same by agreeing not to seek relocation while the As complete the (stadium at the Charles P. Howard Terminal) project  process, the letter begins.

    But officials in Las Vegas revealed on May 12 on Twitter through Mayor Carolyn Goodman that they have been talking with the As since 2019 and they are excited.

    City Council leaders said it’s incorrect that the City Council is delaying or refusing to consider the A’s project proposal, at Howard Terminal.

    Rather, many, such as city staff have been working to bring the proposal to the council for potential approval.

   But the As have been working on the project for nearly five years, As president Dave Kaval said in February. Opposition, too, has mounted against the Howard Terminal site and in favor of a new stadium at the current Oakland Coliseum site.

    The City Council’s letter says that MLB has concluded without sufficient support that the Coliseum site is not viable.City Council leaders asked in the letter for the materials MLB reviewed to draw that conclusion.

    The councils letter is signed by council President Nikki Fortunato Bas, Vice Mayor and Councilmember At-Large Rebecca Kaplan and Councilmember Carroll Fife, who represents downtown and West Oakland.

    The Howard Terminal site is near both downtown and West Oakland.

    City Council leaders are willing to meet with MLB officials and the As ownership, the letter says, to thoughtfully move forward.

    Council leaders said the As leadership recently changed their requests.

    “Rather than send forward full completed deal terms for consideration, the As demanded that the council vote on summary deal terms.  

    “Council leadership expressed willingness to explore this request, and met with the As staff and other stakeholders to seek how best to move forward, according to the letter.  

    Council leaders were in the process of scheduling a vote on the summary deal terms before their summer recess when MLB told the As to seek a new home while it pursues a waterfront ballpark in Oakland.

    “This relocation announcement came without giving the council an opportunity to receive and vote on a proposal and did not even wait for the time requested for the vote, the letter says.

    “Since the request was for a vote by August, why would you announce permission to explore relocation, prior to the date of the requested vote, if the request had been a sincere one? the letter said.

    Council leaders asked MLB to confirm its intentions.

    “Can you confirm definitively, that if the council were to take such a vote for a term sheet regarding the As, that you would prohibit any action to seek or pursue relocation during those next steps?

    Kaplans staff confirmed late on the afternoon of May 14 that a vote on the summary deal terms will be scheduled for before the August recess.

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Bay Area

City Reacts as A’s Threaten to Leave

The A’s said on Tuesday said they will start looking into relocating with the backing of Major League Baseball.

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Mount Davis Oakland with Fans/Wikimedia

The Oakland Athletics made a public threat this week to leave Oakland if  the City Council does not accept their latest proposal by the end of June to build a baseball stadium and huge real estate complex at the Howard Terminal at the Port of Oakland.

The A’s said on Tuesday said they will start looking into relocating with the backing of Major League Baseball.

 A’s owner John Fisher said in a statement,  “The future success of the A’s depends on a new ballpark. Oakland is a great baseball town, and we will continue to pursue our waterfront ballpark project. We will also follow MLB’s direction to explore other markets.”

 A’s President Dave Kaval told the Associated Press on Tuesday, “I think it’s something that is kind of a once-a-generational opportunity to reimagine the waterfront. We’re going to continue to pursue that, and we’re still hopeful that that could get approved, but we have to be realistic about where we are with the timelines.”

Many residents are angry at the A’s aggressive stance, especially since the team’s new proposal is vague on details and puts the city and its residents on the hook for nearly one billion dollars in infrastructure improvements plus over $400 million in community benefits the A’s have pledged but instead would be handed off to taxpayers. 

Reflecting the reaction of some residents, Tim Kawakami, editor-in-chief of the SF Bay Area edition of The Athletic,  tweeted, “I just don’t see the municipal validation in kowtowing to a billionaire who won’t spend much of his own money to build a new stadium that will make him many more billions.”

Mayor Libby Schaaf says she is open to the A’s proposal, and Council members  want more details on its financial impact  on the city and its taxpayers, 

Councilmember Loren Taylor told the Oakland Post in an interview: “We know they are looking for alternative locations. It is something that has to be factored in. Our commitment is to  work to keep the A’s in Oakland but to do it in way that protects the interests of the city  and is  the best deal for the people of Oakland.”

Said Councilmember Treva Reid:

“My commitment will always be to the residents of East Oakland and ensuring strong community benefits and economic development.  I appreciate the contribution of the Athletics … However, the Council must have an adequate amount of time to thoroughly evaluate their proposed offer to ensure Oakland residents receive a fair, transparent  and equitable deal.” 

In her statement, Mayor Schaaf, who has long been a backer of the A’s real estate development near Jack London Square,  said, “We share MLB’s sense of urgency and their continued preference for Oakland. Today’s statement makes clear that the only viable path to keeping the A’s rooted in Oakland is a ballpark on the waterfront.

“Now, with the recent start of financial discussions with the A’s, we call on our entire community — regional and local partners included — to rally together and support a new, financially viable, fiscally responsible, world class waterfront neighborhood that enhances our city and region and keeps the A’s in Oakland where they belong.”

Major media outlets,  often  boosters  of super- expensive urban developments, are unenthusiastic about the A’s proposal and the team’s pressure on the city to go along with its demands.  

In an article, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Scott Ostler wrote, “Get the message, Oakland? Vote to approve the A’s plan and commit to kicking in $855 million for infrastructure for the A’s new ballpark and surrounding village around Howard Terminal or kiss your lovable little baseball team goodbye.

“It’s called power politics, folks.”

In an editorial, the Mercury News and the East Bay Times wrote,” The team has thrown down a greedy and opaque demand that the city of Oakland approve a $12 billion residential and commercial waterfront development project that happens to include a new ballpark — and requires a massive taxpayer subsidy.

“If that’s the best the A’s can offer, the city should let them go.”

Ray Bobbitt of the African American Sports and Entertainment Group told the Oakland Post, “These are bully tactics. You either give me the money or I’m leaving. I don’t think that’s the way to work with the community.

“Do it in a way that’s respectful of the people. If you want to play hardball, I don’t think it’s a tactic that works these days.”

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NFL

Raiders lose final home game to Jaguars 20-16

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Oakland – A touchdown in the final minutes silenced the sold out crowd.  They deserved so much more but instead sat in disbelief.  Their team was not only playing their final home game of the season but this was the last game to be played at the Oakland Coliseum.  The Raiders will be moving into their new home in Sin City next season.

“I’d like to say we could’ve sent the Raiders fans off with a lot better finish that that,” said head coach Jon Gruden.  “I think most importantly, before we talk about the game, I’d like to thank the fans.  I’d like to thank the city of Oakland for supporting the Raiders and being faithful in all kinds of seasons.  I’ll miss them.  I love them and I’m sorry about the outcome today, but I think that’s something that needs to be said. An exclamation point.  I really apologize that we weren’t able to deliver a victory.  I‘m proud of our team’s hustle and effort.  We had numerous opportunities to make a play there in the ballgame, but we didn’t do it.”

Photo by Eric Taylor

Oakland’s 20-16 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars was the nail in the coffin to a season that seemed promising.  A win today would’ve kept the Raiders in the hunt for the playoffs with two teams (Tennessee Titans and Cleveland Browns) losing today. The defeat was felt across the entire stadium as well as with the players who wanted to leave behind so much more.  

“I feel really bad about not ending this game and homestead on a note that the fans wanted,” TE Darren Waller said.  “It’s more about the city and every person that’s involved.  You want to win and go out on a high note, but at the same time, I still love the team.  The execution has to be better, but it’s more so about all the people involved and wanting to go out on a high note. That’s what I feel bad about.”

Oakland maintained the lead almost the entire game, until the final two minutes.  Daniel Carlson’s attempt at two field goals were no good.  The first attempt for 50 yards, he missed and there was a flag on the play.  The next attempt for 45 yards went far left.  The Jaguars took over with 1:44 left on the clock.  Eight plays and 65 yards ended with Gardner Minshew II connecting with Chris Conley for a 40-yard touchdown to secure their win.

You could hear a pin drop throughout the stadium.  The Raiders had a great start, on opening drive Derek Carr went deep with a 40-yard touchdown pass to Tyrell Williams for a quick 7-0 lead.  But unable to score in the end zone, Carlson kicked three field goals for 33, 34 and 27 yards in the first half for a 16-3 lead. It looked like Oakland had everything under control and the fans were happy.

Photo by Eric Taylor

But by the second half, the Raiders offense didn’t score and struggled moving the chains.  This was the second straight game were Oakland was scoreless in the second half.   Yet, they’ve scored on the games opening drive in four contests this season.  There were plenty of opportunities for the Raiders offense but they seem to fall short.

“Really three possessions is all we had,” said Gruden.  “I think we had one possession start at our 2-yard line.  We did a good job with it.  Moved it out of our territory, and I think on a fourth down and maybe a yard, a little over a yard I chose to punt. 

I think we had 20 first downs and they had two at the time.  I don’t regret it.  I do now, but I didn’t regret it at the time.  We had another possession that we just came up short on.  The end of the ball game I thought we managed pretty good.  Unfortunately, we weren’t able to put points on the board.  We mishandled a pass and Jacksonville went the distance to beat us.”

On the final two plays Carr went deep with “Hail Mary” passes that ended up out of bounds.  A poor ending for any game.  The crowd began to boo loudly.  A different reaction from last year’s finale when the city of Oakland thought the Raiders played their final game at the Coliseum.  Fans were dancing on the dugouts, in their seats and chanting “RAIDERS”!  Today’s game ended with fans throwing objects on the field and booing as players ran off the field.  A terrible ending to a decade of football played in Oakland.  Former players also came out for the final game, including Charles Woodson who lit the Al Davis memorial torch before the game.  

Photo by Eric Taylor

“Its disappointing not to come out on top,” Woodson said.  “It was a game we felt like we had under wraps but it didn’t come out the way we wanted it to.  But the message is these are young guys, this is a young team, they’ll fight and keep getting better and I’m looking forward to seeing their progress throughout the years.

It was special, to be the guy Mark Davis wanted to light the torch for Al Davis, and we know what Davis meant to the NFL and the Oakland Raiders.  he is the Oakland Raiders!  It was really special to be that guy.”

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