The Just Blog Baby Staff answers five different questions to cap the 2016 Oakland Raiders season, ranging from favorite moments to coaching decisions, stadium predictions and more.
The 2016 Oakland Raiders season has come and gone. There were some great moments and unfortunately, some pretty awful moments to the end year. To cap the season, the Just Blog Baby Staff provides their answers to five different questions.
Let’s get started.
What was your favorite moment from the season?
Finally breaking the “winning season” threshold. After 14 years of not being over .500, it felt good to be a winner again.
The overtime win in Tampa Bay. That is the single worst day my heart has ever had. Stress after stress after play called back after play called back. Derek finding Seth Roberts across the middle for the game-winner was not only the moment of the season for me, but a Carr career highlight game.
I’m sure it’s cliché but my favorite moment still has to be the call to go for two and win against the Saints in the beginning of the year. There was probably no single play that was more important than that in shaping the entire course of the season.
My favorite moment from the season had to be the Sunday night win against Denver at home. It was the Raiders first official Sunday Night game in 10 years, and the way the Raiders dominated from start to finish on both sides of the ball put the rest of the league on notice that the Raiders will be relevant for years to come.
So many to choose from in a year full of highlights, really. But I have to harken back to the two-point conversion to win the New Orleans game in Week 1 yet again.
It was a season of some hope, and I was watching the game at my friend’s house who happens to be a Saints fan. I will fully admit that after years of heartbreak I lost faith after the Cooks 98-yard touchdown, and I left my buddy’s place pissed off and went home to suffer through the rest of what I thought was going to be a “here we go again” season opener.
Then Carr began working his magic, and suddenly we had a chance to tie!! No, Del Rio, what the hell are you doing!?!?!? Why go for two?? But then I thought, well the D isn’t stopping them and JDR said he was going to be aggressive and teach this team to win. Fade. Catch. Elation.
Winning this game led to an entire attitude shift — not just for the players, but if my feelings were any indication, all of Raider Nation — of confidence in this team and playing to win. Feeling that this season can be special.
Best moment for me in the past 14 years — it felt like a very Raider thing to do and announced the return of the Silver and Black to relevancy. And cemented Del Rio as a riverboat gambler with confidence to put faith in his players during crucial moments, which became a theme throughout the season.
Personally, Carr’s comeback drive in Baltimore. The atmosphere was amazing, the Ravens played the Ray Lewis rally call and the fans went crazy. It was deafening in there, despite there being so many Raiders fans in attendance.
Next thing you know, Carr is driving and the Raiders score. It was hilarious seeing the faces and moods change instantly, man.
That was the point when I knew this season would be special.
Watching both Crabtree and Cooper reach the 1,00 yard plateau. It gave me the feeling of nostalgia from 2002 — shades of Tim Brown and Jerry Rice.
Going forward this receiver corps is impressive, but there’s always room for improvement.. *cough* Alshon Jeffrey, anyone?
There are so many moments to choose from. The Crabtree two-point conversion in New Orleans, the overtime game-winner in Tampa Bay, the complete and utter domination of the Broncos and so many more deserving answers.
But…win number 9 is my pick, aka The Pinky Game. Derek Carr dislocated and fractured the pinky on his throwing hand yet missed just one series — and what he did after that was incredible. He led the Raiders on a 75-yard game-tying drive late in the 4th quarter, capped by a touchdown to Michael Crabtree and a two-point conversion to Seth Roberts.
After a stop by the defense, Carr led the Raiders on 12 play, 82-yard drive which put Sebastian Janikowski in position to kick the game-winning field goal with a little more than a minute left.
Watching the Raiders clinch their first winning season in 14 years was incredibly fulfilling. And the fashion in which they accomplished this feat was as stressful as it was thrilling, and it was my favorite moment of 2016.
The two-point conversation on the jump-ball from Derek Carr to Michael Crabtree with under a minute left on a convert-or-lose play to open the season.
It was the first of countless clutch game-winning throws by Carr, and set the tone for what kind of team the Raiders were going to be in 2016. It also set the tone for what kind of year Carr was going to have — an all-time great year.
For the first time in a very long time, there are several potential favorite moments to pick from a Raiders football season, and the decision is personally very tough for me. I was in the Superdome for the first Carr-to-Crabtree fade of the season. Embarrassing the Broncos in primetime is always a good time.
But I think my favorite moment from the 2016 season, and the moment most representative of the season, is the Week 12 game against the Carolina Panthers. In terms of emotion, it had everything — the unbridled thrill of the Raiders coming out hot, and jockeying to put an opponent away early (for once). The Tyson-esque body blow of watching your MVP candidate injure his throwing hand in an on-field freak accident, and reducing your feelings down to “of course this season was too good to be true, these are the Raiders”, while watching a 20-point lead melt away in a tenth of the time it took to mount it.
And then — the jolt of watching #4 trot out of the tunnel to thunderous cheers, seeing him make a beeline right for Del Rio only to simply say “I’m good”. And finally, being completely awestruck as the team as a whole picked right back up on being much better than the Panthers, as though the whole thing never happened at all.
That’s action-movie stuff, right there.
My favorite moment of the season was the Week 9 ass-whooping of the Broncos. We dominated them throughout the whole game, and after the win it felt like Raiders could make a deep playoff run.
The Denver game was incredible. I was in attendance and the atmosphere was absolutely electric. It was a dominant performance and it looked like the team was just hitting its stride.
The win over Denver. We just ran over them and looked like a team ready to go far in the postseason.