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Opinion: In land of crapshoots and crazy odds, it was a long-shot victory for the Las Vegas Raiders

Opinion: In land of crapshoots and crazy odds, it was a long-shot victory for the Las Vegas Raiders


Early Newspaper

LAS VEGAS — Set aside yourself in Derek Carr’s footwear. It’s extra time. Paydirt is a few yards away. You throw a tight spiral that goes via the receiver’s hands at the goal line, then ricochets off a defender’s shoulder pads and pops up for a soft interception. Disaster.

Right here’s how you lose. One team’s miracle is another team’s nightmare.

“It’s savor, ‘Holy crap! Not savor this!’” Carr said, replaying his ideas after what turned out to be a dramatic victory on Monday night.

The Las Vegas Raiders played their first real game before a stay audience at their sparkling new dwelling, Allegiant Stadium, since the franchise moved right here last year. And what a debut, considerable of marquee billing (now that it’s over). They rallied from two touchdowns down to force extra time, then completed off the Baltimore Ravens, 33-27, after it appeared they had won, have been destined to lose, then injure up a success after all.

“Emotional rollercoaster,” is what Raiders running back Josh Jacobs called it.

The Raiders won when Carr beat an all-out blitz by connecting with Zay Jones for a 31-yard touchdown that was space up by Lamar Jackson’s 2d lost fumble of the 2d half. Suitable when Carr idea the game had slipped away, he acquired a reprieve.

“It feels savor my career,” the eighth-year, typically-maligned vet assessed. “Yay! Crap.”

The form was so bizarre that minutes before the game actually ended, players engaged in the congratulatory handshakes, bro hugs and small talk on the subject that are typical after the games, bearing in mind that the Raiders had won in OT on a 33-yard touchdown catch by Bryan Edwards. 

Not so fast. Clear the subject. The replay confirmed that Edwards landed about a yard disquieted of the goal line. 

Now this is the place, with the stadium situated in the shadows of the famous Las Vegas Strip, where you can acquire odds on anything.

The odds of a team throwing an stay zone interception after having it first-and-goal from the 1-yard line? I’m guessing that’s savor some 1-in-955,000 action.

It’s no marvel that Raiders coach Jon Gruden, pondering the swing in fortune, declared that he “almost died.”

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Somewhere, Al Davis, the late Raiders owner and NFL nemesis, can be laughing at all of us. 

I mean, it’s just so fitting that something wacky would happen when the Raiders marked the occasion of some novel milestone. After all, this is the franchise that has The Holy Roller, The Immaculate Reception and The Tuck Rule in its annals. So, new stadium, new episode of weirdness makes good sense.

Then again, there was some fundamental football at work, too.

Carr passed 56 times for 435 yards and excluding for the acquire in OT that wasn’t his fault, he didn’t throw an interception. He came across his amazing tight stay, Darren Waller, 10 times for 105 yards. And Hunter Renfrow (6 catches, 70 yards) deserves indicate for his 27-yard tip-toe job down the sideline that acquired the juices flowing early in OT. The kicker, Daniel Carlson, forced extra time by nailing a 55-yarder with two seconds on the clock in regulation. The defense pummeled Jackson into the two fumbles that resulted in touchdowns. First, in the fourth quarter, it was D-tackle Quinton Jefferson poking the ball unfastened, which resulted in a 15-yard TD race by Jacobs. In the OT, Carl Nassib barreled around the nook and jarred the ball unfastened, which gave the Raiders the ball at the Ravens’ 27-yard line.

That the Raiders defense, which gave up 189 dashing yards, came up colossal in the grab says something about the increase that is wished if this team is to ultimately blossom — as promised — below Gruden. There’s another new D-coordinator in the mix in Gus Bradley and he’s supplemented by Rod Marinelli, whose NFL track file is constructed on productive D-traces. There’s detached mighty work to attain with the defense. Nevertheless the unit positive didn’t fold up in crunch time.

It all added as a lot as the Raiders a success the form of game that they probably would have lost last year, when they faded down the stretch and completed 8-8.

No, this team won’t roam far if it has to repeatedly climb out of 14-0 holes. Yet there’s also something to be said for the grit that the Raiders demonstrated as some form of first impact for the dwelling fans.

“Who cares how we attain it?” Carr maintained. “Let’s just recall.”

They played with hearth. No, they played with the “Al Flame” towering on the plaza unhurried one of the stay zones, and didn’t acquire burned.

Nevertheless at this point, the Raiders are detached playing with home cash.

Opinion: In land of crapshoots and crazy odds, it was a long-shot victory for the Las Vegas Raiders