It’s been the House of Lamonica, Stabler and Blanda, Long, The Ghost and the Heidi Game. The O.co Coliseum is steeped in Raiders history. So, if Monday night’s game against the Denver Broncos was the team’s farewell to the stadium and the city of Oakland, at least it was a winning farewell.
The Raiders, sparked by Dwayne Harris’s 99-yard punt return for a touchdown in the first quarter, beat the Broncos Monday night, 27-14, in what could be the team’s final game in their longtime venue. The team and the stadium don’t yet have an agreement in place to play at O.co Coliseum in 2019, which has long been expected to be their last before moving to Las Vegas.
So, next year, the Raiders could be playing across the bay at AT&T Park or somewhere else in northern California – or, they could work out something in Oakland.
But, with the possibility that Monday night’s game could be the last for the silver and black in Oakland, the Raiders took control early and gave their fans something to cheer.
The Raiders jumped up 7-0 on Harris’ punt return, then added 10 more points in the second quarter on Doug Martin’s 24-yard TD run and Daniel Carlson’s 43-yard field goal for a 17-0 halftime lead.
The Broncos cut the lead to 17-7 in the third quarter on a 7-yard pass from Case Keenum to DaeSean Hamilton.
Oakland responded by driving 72 yards in 12 plays, culminating with Jalen Richard’s 3-yard TD run to put the Raiders up 24-7. After Denver scored again to cut the margin to 24-14 – on Keenum’s 19-yard TD pass to Courtland Sutton – the Broncos stopped the Raiders and got the ball back with 5:43 remaining.
But Marcus Gilchrist came up with an interception for Oakland to give the Raiders possession at the Denver 31. That converted into a 45-yard field goal by Carlson to put the Raiders up 27-14. And, when the Broncos got the ball back, Erik Harris came up with another interception of Keenum to set up the Raiders at the Denver 18. The Raiders then ran out the clock to secure the victory.
Oakland QB Derek Carr, after the clock expired, ran to the Black Hole to celebrate with fans, then took a lap around the field, thanking all the fans for their support … just in case this is the farewell game in the East Bay.
Martin had a big game running the ball for the Raiders, rushing for 107 yards on 21 carries. Carr was 19-of-26 passing for 167 yards. Jordy Nelson led the Raiders receivers with seven catches for 75 yards. On defense, cornerback Rashaan Melvin led Oakland, with 12 total tackles.
The Raiders, now 4-11, will travel to Kansas City this coming Sunday to finish their season against the Chiefs.