OAKLAND – Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio is an East Bay guy. The Hayward-native spent many Sunday afternoons at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum cheering on the Silver and Black, with a few dramatic victories mixed into the memory bank.
Del Rio returned home to resurrect a once-proud franchise he grew up following, no easy task after a dozen years of losing. His Raiders tenure didn’t start well with a Week 1 thrashing at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Sunday afternoon, however, was a signature moment. His Raiders earned a 37-33 win over the Baltimore Ravens with a last-second game-winning touchdown pass from quarterback Derek Carr.
Jack Del Rio got caught in the moment, with a rush of emotion surging through him as victory became secure.
“I had to focus on taking my mind elsewhere so I didn’t get all choked up,” Del Rio said. “It was a very special moment for me.”
Raiders players realized this was a big moment for Del Rio, which is why Carr gave his head coach a game ball after the game.
[INSTANT REPLAY: Raiders blow lead, strike late to stun Ravens]
It wasn’t just the location and the team that made Del Rio proud. It was the way his Raiders persevered through a tough game with late lead changes, big plays and missed opportunities.
“That that was one heck of an effort,” Del Rio said. “The players gave everything they had today. They didn’t flinch in tough circumstances, a found a way (to win).
“The head coach and the quarterback are the only two guys in the organization that are tied directly to wins and losses and to see our young quarterback take our football team down there to the end, that was special. That was special. I am really proud of the men in that room. We’ve worked hard. This is the first of many moments like that. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
-- The Raiders got through the game without many injuries. Khalil Mack seemed to injure his groin in the second half, and missed important snaps while getting stretched out. He was clearly in pain after the game, but wouldn’t admit to being uncomfortable.
“I feel great,” Mack said. “I’m a machine.”
-- The Raiders pass rush struggled to get going despite significant talent and a reserve playing left tackle for the Ravens. The Raiders had no sacks and just one quarterback hit despite the Ravens throwing 45 times, often playing from behind. The Raiders still won, but that production doesn’t fly with Mack.
“It matters to me. It matter to this team. It matters to this defense,” Mack said. “That’s one of the things that we have to look at, assess and get better. We have to move forward, and hopefully next it will be a different outcome defensively because we want to win all the time. Keep getting wins.”
-- Michael Crabtree had nine catches for 111 yards and a touchdown. Amari Cooper had seven receptions for 109 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown catch to open the scoring. That’s quite a 1-2 receiving punch, one the Raiders haven’t had in some time. The Raiders haven’t had two 100-yard receivers in the same game since 2012.
All told, Carr completed passes to 10 different receivers.
-- DJ Hayden was helped off the field in the second quarter, but it was only for cramps. He returned later in the game. He played far better than he did a week ago, with two passes defense and six tackles.
-- Marquette King had a key 70-yard punt early in the fourth quarter, which was a career long.
-- Sunday’s game was the Raiders’ last on dirt. They don’t come home until after the A's baseball season concludes, meaning the infield will get sodded over for the final six regular-season home games.