Marshawn Lynch has been here before.
The stakes were considerably higher last time, but Sunday was familiar nonetheless.
Raiders don’t give the ball to Marshawn
The Oakland Raiders faced a first-and-goal from the 1-yard line trailing the Los Angeles Chargers 20-3 in the third quarter. Lynch, still one of the league’s most bruising backs, lined up in the backfield.
Quarterback Derek Carr took the snap, faked a handoff to Lynch and threw the ball to Chargers linebacker Melvin Ingram in the end zone.
Instead of a touchdown to keep hope alive, the play ended with a late turnover in a 26-10 Chargers win.
Lynch has seen this story before
The call, of course, was reminiscent of the famous Super Bowl play where Russell Wilson threw an interception on second-and-goal when the Seattle Seahawks needed a touchdown to beat the New England Patriots with Lynch lined up in the backfield.
Lynch was cognizant of that association after Sunday’s game.
“I done seen it happen to me on the game’s biggest stage,” Lynch told reporters. “Now it’s happened in a regular season game. It’s all right, though.”
Another bad moment for Jon Gruden
It was another difficult moment in a 1-4 start for the Raiders that has presented an endless array of questions about head coach Jon Gruden’s decision-making.
And there were questions after the game.
Gruden: Carr should have thrown it away
“We hadn’t thrown the ball in a goal-to-go situation all year,” Gruden told reporters. “It was first-and-goal. The decision there was to throw it, and if it’s not open, you throw it away. It just didn’t work out.
“We expected to have a wide-open receiver on the play … obviously that’ll be second-guessed, and rightfully so. But [Carr] shouldn’t have made that throw down there. I’ll live to hand the ball off on the next play, possibly.”
The decision has been and will continue to be second-guessed as the Raiders’ $100 million coach has shown little to justify his massive 10-year deal five games into his second tenure in Oakland.
He’ll probably give the ball to Lynch next time.
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