Yes, the Raiders are poised to set the single-season penalty and penalty yardage records. Fortunately (or otherwise), the mark has been set before the largest collection of fans in the Black Hole in years.
As Jerry McDonald of BayAreaNewsGroup.com recently explained, by selling all non-premium tickets to Sunday’s game against the Chargers, the Raiders have achieved their first full-season sellout since returning to Oakland in 1995.
“I know our fans and the way they’ve been for us all year. It’s going to be unbelievable,” Raiders coach Hue Jackson said recently. “They’ll bring the noise and the passion. I expect them to be as loud as they’ve ever been, and we need a true 12th man this week.”
The noise and the passion have only gone so far, however. The 8-7 Raiders have won only three of seven home games, with victories over the Jets, Browns, and Bears, and losses to the Patriots, Chiefs, Broncos, and Lions.
If the Raiders beat the Chargers and the Broncos lose to the Chiefs on Sunday, the Raiders will get a chance to sell out at least one more home game, in the postseason. And if Pittsburgh finishes with the No. 5 seed, it’ll be the first Steelers-Raiders playoff game in Oakland since the 1976 AFC title game.