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Raiders lose multiple players in win over Broncos

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Oakland, CA – Despite neither team scoring in the first quarter, a continuing feud between Michael Crabtree and Aqib Talib escalated and led to a brawl between both teams. Both players were ejected along with Gabe Jackson who was trying to help his teammate. The Raiders also lost Amari Cooper to a concussion.

Nonetheless, Oakland prevailed and beat the Denver Broncos 21-14. A must win for the Raiders who now sit one game behind the Kansas City chiefs who lead the division. Oakland is still alive in making run back into the post season. With that, they will need to win their remaining games including the matchup against the Chiefs in week 14 in Kansas City.

“I think that they have a little bit of a history with the chain snatching from years back,” said Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio. “I think there was an additional chain snatched from what I understand. Bottom line is we can’t afford to lose one of our top receivers and then our starting guard because he went over there to help his buddy. We can’t get two guys tossed like that.”

“If I would’ve told you that both our starting receivers and our right guard would be out for the game, I’m pretty sure the feeling would’ve been a lot different for people on the outside,” Derek Carr said. “Anytime you lose starters, it hurts.”

Unfortunately, in this situation it didn’t hurt to bad. Carr went 18-of-24 for 253 yards including two touchdowns. It was the best the Oakland offense has looked all season. Marshawn Lynch recorded a 1-yard touchdown and rushed for a season-high 26 carries on the day, the most he’s had in a single game since Oct. 22, 2015 against the San Francisco 49ers.

However, the incited brawl was caused by both Talib and Crabtree who will face the consequences once the NFL reviews the incident. Last year Talib ripped Crabtree’s chain off his neck during their season finale. Today Talib did it again but this time, Crabtree wasn’t having it. This is the first time the two faced off, Crabtree didn’t play in in the first matchup.

The feud between these two escalated in the first quarter when Talib ripped Crabtree’s chain again. Crabtree aggressively blocked Talib on a running play and drove him to the ground on the Broncos sideline. From there all hell broke loose. Several Broncos players surrounded Crabtree before Jackson came to his defense. But Jackson also pushed an official by accident and was thrown out.

”I guess his initiative was to come out there and fight today,” said Denver cornerback Chris Harris Jr., who said Crabtree ”sucker punched” him on the previous play. “I guess it wasn’t to play football.”

After the players were tossed, the Raiders took over. Paxton Lynch threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Devontae Booker to start the second quarter but that play was reversed after Booker’s knee went down before going into the end zone. Lynch’s next pass was intercepted. Intended for Virgil Green but tipped by NaVorro Bowman, went through the hands of Reggie Nelson and then back to Bowman who was laying on the ground.

“I was in panic mode,” Bowman said. “The play-fake that came up, I realized it was pass so I used a guard to push out of there and run and find the guy that was open. That wasn’t my man, I just dove to break it up and landed on my back and the ball was there. It was on of those crazy plays but as coach says ‘Just run to the ball and great things will happen’.”

This was Oakland’s first interception of the season. Bowman’s interception marked the Raiders first since Week 17 of 2016 when Safety Brynden Trawick picked off QB Trevor Siemian. Once Oakland took over Carr moved the offense down field with ease. A 15-yard face mask penalty by the Broncos helped before Carr found Lee Smith for a 12 yard pass.

That set up Amari Cooper’s 9-yard touchdown pass from Carr giving Oakland a 7-0 lead. On the next series Cooper was going up for a pass and a late helmet-to-helmet hit by Darian Stewart knocked Cooper out. He did not return after being diagnosed with a concussion. Cooper has now recorded a touchdown in consecutive games for the first time in his career.

“We just got into the running game and we got things going, gelling,” said Jalen Richard. “That whole fighting situation just brought a whole other intensity to the game, it is a division rival. That made the intensity of the game go up. Denver was coming at us full speed, we were going at the them full speed. It was a real traditional, hard-nose game today.”

Lynch’s 1-yard touchdown extended the Raiders lead 14-0 . By the third, Carr went deep with a 48-yard pass to Johnny Holton. That setup Richard’s 6-yard touchdown pass from Carr to make it a 21-0 game. Oakland’s defense was unstoppable, the Raiders’ defense allowed just 54 yards in the first half of play, the fewest in a first half since giving up just 17 to the Kansas City Chiefs on Dec. 12, 2012.

As if things couldn’t get any worse for the Broncos, Lynch injured his ankle and was ruled out for the remainder of the game. Siemian replaced Lynch late in the third and what a big difference that made. By the fourth Siemian found Coty Latimer for the 25-yard touchdown putting Denver on the board for the first time today.

The onside kick by the Broncos landed in the hands of Keith McGill putting the Raiders in good field position. Carr’s pass to Lynch for 24 yards setup Giorgio Tavecchio’s 35-yard field goal which was no good. Despite a great third quarter, Oakland fell back to their old ways in the fourth.

Siemian connected with Bennie Fowler for a 22-yard touchdown pass cutting the lead to 21-14 with 2:39 left to play in the game. But the Raiders held on for the win, Cordarelle Patterson broke through multiple tackles for a 54-yard pass and the first down. Carr then took a knee to run the clock out. Denver lost seven games in a row for the first time n 50 years.

“They went cover zero, I don’t know why they would do that,” Patterson said. “I guess because we were down two receivers they thought they could get pressure on Derek but he did an excellent job seeing man coverage and just seeing me one-on-one with the free safety or cornerback or whoever it was. He just put the ball so perfect there was no way I couldn’t make a play on 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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