Jon Gruden apologizes to fans for losing Oakland finale

Print

The Raiders closed up shop in Oakland by sending the locals home with one last brutal loss.

Jon Gruden's team gave up a 16-3 halftime lead, allowing the Jacksonville Jaguars to claw back into the game, and steal a 20-16 victory on a last-second Gardner Minshew TD toss to Chris Conley that stunned the raucous crowd.

"I'd like to say we could have sent the Raiders fans off with a lot better finish than that," Gruden said after the loss, via NBC Sports Bay Area. "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."

The Raiders appeared ready to skate past the hapless Jags in their final home game in Oakland before the 2020 move to Las Vegas. Then it all crumbled like the years-worn stadium they are set to depart.

After earning a 13-point halftime lead, the offense couldn't generate traction in the second half, and the defense couldn't get off the field.

After getting the ball back with 5:15 left after Jacksonville cut the lead to 16-13, Oakland watched a potential game-sealing catch clang off Tyrell Williams' hands and hit the turf. Then kicker Daniel Carlson had two attempts at a field goal following a Jags penalty and botched both. Then the defense allowed Minshew to drive right down the field in 1:13 to score the game-winner.

Raiders fans showered quarterback Derek Carr with boos and an assortment of other liquids.

"Oh gosh," Carr said when asked about being booed. "What's new with our crowd? Whenever we don't win, that's going to happen. Trust me, it's not under my skin. It's nothing."

Asked if he had a message to the fans, Carr responded: "Message to the fans? I'm sure they don't want to hear anything right now."

What could have been a nice moment in Oakland turned into rage as fans saddened by watching their team play in the Coliseum for the final time vented their frustrations.

"It's not really the result today, it's the results of the Raiders over the years," Gruden said, clearly upset he couldn't deliver a win in his final home game in Oakland. "It's the Raiders, it's the appreciation, the loyalty that these fans I think have had for the Raiders. We're going to miss them. The relationship is hopefully never going to end.

"It was sad walking in here today. It's going to be sad walking out of here for the last time and it's a lot to wrap your arms around, but we love our fans, we love the city of Oakland. We thank them and we'll certainly miss them."

Print