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Antonio Pierce to Raider Nation: ‘Allegiant Stadium has to be ours’

Updated November 21, 2023 - 5:06 pm

Four of the Raiders’ final six games will be at home.

Interim coach Antonio Pierce wants that to mean something.

“Allegiant Stadium has to be ours,” he said.

Pierce is imploring Raiders fans to do their part with his 5-6 team still in the playoff hunt, especially after seeing the effect a primarily pro-Raiders crowd at Allegiant Stadium had on his team in recent wins over the Giants and Jets.

The Raiders are 15-15 at Allegiant Stadium since 2020. But at 4-1 this year, they are on pace to surpass their season-high home win total of five in 2021. In order to give themselves a legitimate chance to qualify for the postseason, they almost have to sweep their remaining home games against the Chiefs, Vikings, Chargers and Broncos.

“Being 4-1 at home, that’s amazing for real,” cornerback Nate Hobbs said. “Hopefully, we can just keep that rolling.”

Making sure Allegiant Stadium doesn’t turn into a home haven for opposing teams has been an issue since the Raiders landed in Sin City in 2020. Between the hundreds of thousands of transplants living in the area and opposing fans eager to make a trip to Las Vegas, it’s not unusual for Raiders fans to be in the minority some weeks.

That trend changed in recent home wins over the Giants and Jets. The transition from former coach Josh McDaniels to Pierce seemingly energized Raiders fans and created a noticeable edge.

“It was just kind of right on time, having them show up and be loud in there for us,” wide receiver Davante Adams said. “So us connecting with them, we feed off them and vice versa.”

The Raiders felt the difference.

“Those last two or three games at home, they’ve been pulling through,” Hobbs said. “We’re feeding off (their) energy, and they’re feeding off ours. So, a big shout out to Raider Nation. Energy be contagious.”

Adams agreed.

“What we had the last two games was big for us,” he said. “And we’re gonna need that moving forward to keep protecting that home field.”

As Adams also pointed out, it’s on the players to give fans to give “a lot to cheer for.” Adams, a lifelong Raiders fan himself, is eager to help set a tone as the franchise continues to get settled in Las Vegas.

“I came here with the intentions of making it tough on teams coming in this building and not making it a friendly place to play,” Adams said. “We’re starting to feel that from our fans now, so we just gotta continue to do our part, team-wise, to make sure we apply that pressure and make it a not fun place to come here and play.”

Pierce is hopeful that will be the case for the rest of the season.

“I’m calling on Raider Nation, our fan base, alumni, to show up and show out and bring that energy and bring that passion,” Pierce said.

If so, the Raiders feel Allegiant Stadium can create a home-field advantage as good as any in the league.

“That Black Hole has to be real,” Pierce said. “And when we make that a consensus effort and a mindset, and the fans do the same, it’s a hell of a place to play.”

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on X.

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