Oakland gets play­off spot

Janikowski only Raider left from pre­vi­ous trip, in 2003

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Bernie Wil­son

san diego» The Oakland Raiders are go­ing back to the play­offs for the first time in 14 years, earn­ing a post­sea­son nod on the same field where they were so thor­oughly hu­mil­i­ated in the Su­per Bowl in Jan­uary 2003.

Fit­tingly, the only player re­main­ing from that ros­ter, kicker Se­bas­tian Janikowksi, helped the Raiders punch their ticket. He kicked a 44yard field goal with 2:40 left, his fourth of the game, and the Raiders beat the San Diego Charg­ers 19-16 in the Re­lo­ca­tion Bowl on Sun­day.

“I can’t even de­scribe my words man. It feels so spe­cial. I waited a long time for that,” Janikowski said.

So have their fans, and they packed Qual­comm Sta­dium, out­num­ber­ing Charg­ers fans by roughly 80 per­cent to 20 per­cent in the crowd of 68,352, the largest in San Diego this sea­son.

All that Sil­ver and Black back­ing the Raiders (11-3) pro­vided a sur­real at­mos­phere to the game, which might be the Charg­ers’ sec­ond to last in San Diego af­ter 56 sea­sons.

Team chair­man Dean Spanos seems al­most cer­tain to move the team to the Los An­ge­les area af­ter fail­ing to get a big pub­lic sub­sidy to help him re­place ag­ing Qual­comm Sta­dium.

The Raiders could be on the move, too, with owner Mark Davis eye­ing Las Ve­gas, al­though they’d still play in Oakland un­til a new sta­dium was built in Sin City.

A sour re­la­tion­ship be­tween Spanos and the Charg­ers fans, as well as yet an­other los­ing sea­son, gives the ap­pear­ance of a fran­chise flam­ing out. Raiders fans were all too happy to snap up avail­able tick­ets.

“I was very ex­cited, very joy­ful, look­ing around the sta­dium and see­ing our fans just go­ing crazy,” quar­ter­back Derek Carr said. “When we come to San Diego, our fans turn it into a home game. We al­ways think we get nine home games a year.”

The Charg­ers (5-9) were elim­i­nated from the play­off chase when Mi­ami beat the New York Jets on Satur­day night.

Harry How, Getty Im­ages

Latavius Mur­ray of the Oakland Raiders fum­bles the ball dur­ing the first quar­ter against the San Diego Charg­ers at Qual­comm Sta­dium on Sun­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.