Raiders fashion one more bizarre finish to lost season

Updated December 18, 2017 - 12:17 am

OAKLAND, Calif. — This is what happens when the Dallas Cowboys come calling:

Sunday night, for the first time this season at a Raiders home game, a Spanish-speaking radio team broadcast live along press row, which is always an interesting dynamic because even standard plays sound more exhilarating.

If you’ve never heard a basic off-tackle run for 3 yards in Spanish, you really haven’t lived.

The confusion for most of us not fortunate to understand four quarters of such thrilling exchanges made sense, though.

There is absolutely no practical way to explain what happened at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, much less with the Raiders this season.

Forget any New Math that hasn’t yet officially eliminated them from the playoffs, because in losing to Dallas 20-17 in a most incredible and bizarre fashion, far too many implausible outcomes remain to even wonder about a second straight postseason appearance.

Think about it: For the Raiders to make the playoffs as a final wild card berth, they would need to finish in a four-way tie at 8-8 with Miami, Tennessee and Buffalo, along with Baltimore finishing at least 9-7.

Boy, I sure would like to hear those Spanish broadcasters announce that scenario should it miraculously occur. They would make ordering lunch sound fun, never mind that sort of lunacy.

It’s how it should be for the Raiders, really, because in no way should you be this inconsistent over 14 weeks and expect to be in a serious hunt for playing in January.

The Raiders, now 6-8 and more up-and-down than some kid playing on a parent’s fitness ball, again teased their fans enough Sunday to believe they are better than what the truth suggests.

They’re not.

They haven’t been since very early this season.

Think about it: The first quarter ended, and Dallas had run 22 plays for 148 yards. The Raiders had 7 yards on just six plays.

How, for the second straight week of playing games that would ultimately decide their playoff fate, could the Raiders come out so preposterously flat?

You’re not a playoff team when you have three touchdowns called back in a game decided by three points, one for pass interference and another for holding and another when a player was deemed down by contact.

The latter wasn’t Sean Smith’s fault after his interception of a Dak Prescott pass. The other two absolutely fall on the shoulders of Jared Cook and Xavier Woodson-Luster.

You’re praying to be a playoff team when you need things like this to go your way and they don’t: On the game’s second biggest play, the Cowboys went for a fourth-and-1 at their own 39 in a tie game with 4:49 left, and won a measurement when officials used an index card to verify the spot.

Which really makes me wonder if the guys in striped shirts have gone back to school and use media timeouts to study for the ACT.

You’re not a playoff team when your starting quarterback, who played an inspired second-half to rally your team and place it in a position to win, is headed toward a game-winning touchdown run on the game’s biggest play with under 40 seconds remaining. He then dives for the pylon and fumbles out of the end zone, signaling a touchback and handing possession back to the Cowboys.

Who promptly took a knee and ended what was a crazy, crazy game.

Derek Carr lay on the Coliseum turn after that football squirted from his grip, holding his helmet in his hands and undoubtedly understanding the impending consequence.

That the call would be upheld and Dallas would take over and not even New Math could now save his team from its inevitable conclusion.

That the Raiders just weren’t good enough, not Sunday, not for most of 14 weeks.

Carr would complete 21 of 38 passes for 171 yards and a pair of 2-yard scores to Michael Crabtree, looking for much of those final 30 minutes like the Carr before this year’s Carr, like the guy who was in MVP talks last season.

But neither he or his offensive teammates or a defense that saw a change in coordinators or even a special teams unit that had its share of big-time blunders Sunday (see a fake punt by Dallas that led to a touchdown and the hold by Woodson-Luster that nullified a kickoff return for a score) have executed well enough for long stretches.

I’m not sure most of what those Spanish broadcasters from Dallas said Sunday, although it seemed everyone in a helmet on each snap had some sort of “busca” issue, as scanning the field became a popular theme.

I am sure, however, of one fact not lost in translation: The Raiders weren’t good enough, haven’t been for a while now, and you don’t need any index card to see it.

Contact columnist Ed Graney at egraney@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4618. He can be heard on “The Press Box,” ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and 1100 AM, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Follow @edgraney on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Raiders Videos
Vegas Nation: Raiders hold indoor walkthrough due to fires
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken reports from smoky Alameda, Calif. as the Raiders move their practice indoors due to the California wildfires.
Las Vegas Raiders Stadium
Las Vegas Raiders Stadium (Raiders)
Vegas Nation: Ateman prepares for NFL debut vs. Cards
Oakland Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken explains how Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant's injuries could result in seventh round pick Marcell Ateman making his NFL debut this Sunday.
Vegas Nation: Nelson, Bryant injured in loss to Chargers
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken examines the injuries to wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant.
Vegas Nation: Chargers Overpower Raiders 20-6
Ed Graney and Michael Gehlken discuss The Raiders loss to the Chargers following the California wildfires and mass shooting
Vegas Nation Mailbag: November 7, 2018
Elaine Emerson and Gilbert Manzano answer questions from fans on the Raiders before they take on the Los Angeles Chargers.
Vegas Nation: Gruden downplays sideline encounter with Guenther
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken reports from Alameda as Jon Gruden addresses the media for the first time a day after their Thursday Night Football loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Dismantled by 49ers 34-3
The Raiders fall to the 49ers following Nick Mullens' impressive debut for San Francisco.
Vegas Nation: Raiders defense looks to improve against 49ers
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken discusses the Raiders defensive woes thus far prior to their Battle of the Bay game against the 49ers.
Vegas Nation Mailbag: Oct. 30, 2018
Elaine Emerson and Gilbert Manzano answer questions from Raider Nation regarding Derek Carr's performance and Jon Gruden.
Vegas Nation: Raiders seek consistent defensive rotation
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken points out a change in the team's defensive rotation from previous games.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Give up 21 Unanswered Points in Loss to Colts
The Oakland Raiders lose to the Colts after being outscored 21-0 in the fourth quarter. Michael Gehlken and Ed Graney report from Oakland.
Vegas Nation: Osemele returns to practice ahead of Colts matchup
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken anticipates that All Pro guard Kelechi Osemele may return against the Indinapolis Colts on Sunday.
Vegas Nation: Doug Martin prepares for heavier workload vs. Colts
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken discusses Doug Martin's increased role as a featured back, as well as what the offensive line's health could potentially mean for Martin's performance.
Vegas Nation: Gruden, Smith come to Carr's defense
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken reports from Alameda, Calif. as members of the team deny reports of a fractured locker room.
Vegas Nation Mailbag: Raiders' Bye Week
Elaine Wilson and Gilbert Manzano go over comments from Raider Nation.
Vegas Nation: Draft Picks to Rebuild
Ed Graney discusses the Amari Cooper trade to the Dallas Cowboys and the future first round picks the Raiders will have.
Las Vegas Stadium Livecam
Vegas Nation Mailbag 10-16-2018
Elaine Wilson and Gilbert Manzano discuss The Raiders 27-3 loss to the Seahawks in London as The Raiders enter their bye week.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Fall To Seahawks; Cooper Out With Concussion
Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken, Sports Columnist Ed Graney and sports writer Gilbert Manzano go over the Raiders loss to the Seattle Seahawks in London.
Derek Carr says the team will focus on improving – Heidi Fang
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr says the team will do what's necessary to improve following its 27-3 loss in London to the Seattle Seahawks.
Gruden on the Raiders loss to the Seahawks, Cooper's injury – Heidi Fang
Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden talks to media following the team's 27-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in London, England.
A look at NFL sports betting in London
With the NFL introducing England to different teams each year since 2007, Review-Journal columnist Ed Graney asked fans in London ahead of the Oakland Raiders vs. Seattle Seahawks how often they flock to them to place wagers on American football.
Would the NFL be accepted abroad?
Review-Journal columnist Ed Graney takes to the streets of London, England, ahead of the Oakland Raiders facing the Seattle Seahawks to find out if the NFL is accepted, if the game is understood and what its fan base is like outside of the United States.
Raiders Adopt Student Resource Room At Robert Taylor Elementary School In Henderson
Former Raiders player Leo Gray and Robert Taylor Elementary School principal Kim Basham talk about the new resource room at the school on Sept. 25, 2018 in Henderson, Nevada. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
More information on design of Raiders' practice facility in Henderson
Officials plan to finish the Raiders' Henderson headquarters by spring 2020. The planned facility would be home to offices, training facilities and 4 1/2 football fields.
Vegas Nation: Raiders fall short in Week 1 to the Rams
Bryan Salmond and Gilbert Manzano are in studio recapping the first game of 2018 for the Oakland Raiders. Michael Gehlken and Ed Graney report from Oakland.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like