Jon Gruden and the Oakland Raiders were the victim of poor officiating during Sunday’s agonizing loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars that ended the team’s tenure in Oakland on the worst possible note.
Late in the fourth quarter, with just over two minutes remaining, the refs absolutely blew a call on a Derek Carr run. The quarterback purposefully slid while still in bounds to keep the clock running. But incredibly, the officials stopped the clock.
This brutal mistake by the refs essentially gave the Jaguars an extra timeout. If the clock had continued to roll, then the Raiders would have had their next play occur after the two-minute warning. Instead, the clock was stopped at 2:05, allowing Jacksonville a free extra play.
Compounding this, Gruden, very upset, tried to challenge the play. But since you cannot review this type of play, not only did the Raiders lose valuable time, but they incurred a five-yard penalty.
The Raiders, who should have had 1st-and-10 with two minutes left on the clock, faced 1st-and-15 with 2:05 on the clock.
In a game that was won at the last second by Jacksonville, that error looms large.
While speaking with reporters Monday, Gruden confirmed that NFL head official Al Riveron called to apologize for the mistake. Gruden said, “And we accept the apology,” per the team’s website.
However, it’s hardly surprising that Gruden is extremely hot over the entire fiasco, which is just one of many events that have upset the coach this year.
“I don’t like it at all,” he said when asked about the play. “They stopped the game in Indiana, took my middle linebacker away for 12 weeks; they ended his season. They stopped the game in Kansas City and took [Trayvon] Mullen’s interception away. Why don’t you stop the game and get the clock right? I don’t think it was even close. So, I’m not happy about it. Apologies are great, but this is 2020, we’ve been in enough meetings and I’m disgusted by it.”
Gruden hasn’t been shy about criticizing the NFL over its decision to suspend Vontaze Burfict for the rest of the 2019 season after his continued helmet-to-helmet hits. He clearly feels like the Raiders haven’t been given a fair shake.