Fan at Raiders game to support openly gay DE Carl Nassib: 'When he came out, it struck a chord'
Andrew Erazos had never attended an NFL game in his life, but he knew he had to be at Monday's Raiders game to support openly gay player Carl Nassib.It was No. 94, and it was worn by Andrew Erazos, a self-identified gay man paying tribute to another gay man.
One player in particular is mourning the Baltimore Ravens' "Monday Night Football" season opening loss against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, the 2019 NFL MVP, had the ball in his hands with a seven-point lead early in the fourth quarter, but his fumble set up a Las Vegas Raiders touchdown that tied the game. It wouldn't be the last time in the night that a giveaway would prove costly.
Though both teams would trade a couple more scores, deep in overtime, Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib strip sacked Jackson, giving Vegas the ball in scoring position.
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Three plays later, the Raiders pulled out the thriller, 33-27, on a 31-yard Derek Carr touchdown pass to receiver Zay Jones.
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"That ticked me off," Jackson said after the game of the fumbles. "I hate any type of turnovers. The first one ... didn't tick me off like the last one, just two hands on the football. I could've just taken a sack, if anything. But it happens in football."
Jackson also took to Twitter to decry his fumbles in a message full of expletives.
All the blame, however, shouldn't fall to Jackson alone. The Ravens' offensive line struggled to protect Jackson, allowing Vegas pass rushers to burst through the line and create constant pressure all game long. Defensive end Maxx Crosby was a menace, finishing with five QB hits and two sacks.
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After the game, Jackson acknowledged he felt pressure to make a play given the pressure the Raiders generated.
"If you're a quarterback, you're trying to go through your progressions, and guys in your face, they're trying to get them a sack, it's going to be like that," Jackson said. "Sometimes you can't go through your reads. You've got to make something happen. That's what I tried to do on the last one. I seen it breaking down, I tried to push a lineman in the pocket and he hit me while I was doing it, so I'll just try to hold onto the ball next time."
He finished the game 19-of-30 passing for 235 yards with one touchdown and added 12 carries for a team-high 86 rushing yards.
23. Panthers (23): QB Sam Darnold's relaunch and RB Christian McCaffrey's return understandably commanded a lot of attention, but Carolina's defense opened the season with a stifling performance (6 sacks, 252 yards allowed).
21. Washington (19): QB Ryan Fitzpatrick set record by making a Week 1 start for his sixth different club before sustaining a hip injury likely to cost him at least half the season. But it could be a silver lining for the WFT as it takes an extended look at Taylor Heinicke, who could have a long-term future here.
15. Broncos (18): Their .683 winning percentage in Week 1 is the NFL's best since the 1970 merger, but it hasn't helped them finish a season above .500 since 2016. But this team looks dangerous ... and classy, coach Vic Fangio wearing an FDNY hat on the sideline Sunday.
11. 49ers (9): Are they the team that led Detroit 38-10 through 2½ quarters, or the one that held on for a 41-33 win ... and is already dealing with another rash of injuries after losing CB Jason Verrett to a torn ACL while hoping RB Raheem Mostert (knee) can return by midseason?
9. Cowboys (14): Encouraging start for QB Dak Prescott after shining in his first game in 11 months ... though far less encouraging start for a rebooted defense that merely needs to be average but didn't reach that bar in Tampa despite generating four turnovers.
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8. Steelers (17): They were hardly dominant in upset of Buffalo, but tough defense, a re-commitment to the run and opportunistic special teams could carry Pittsburgh a long way once again.
6. Seahawks (10): Glass half empty -- QB Russell Wilson was sacked three more times (for shame, O-line). Glass half full -- the defense shone in Indianapolis and notched three sacks of its own. Given what just happened to their next opponent, Tennessee, expect D to take sack lead after Week 2.
5. Saints (16): New NBC football analyst Drew Brees kidded (right?) Sunday night that "I guess apparently this is what the Saints have been missing." He was referring to QB successor Jameis Winston, who struck downfield -- a capability that should open up the entire attack and especially help RB Alvin Kamara. Is this offense actually better? So far, so good given what New Orleans just did to the Packers ... and under suboptimal circumstances.
3. Rams (6): The Matthew Stafford-Sean McVay marriage appeared all it was cracked up to be ... through one game anyway. Stafford's Week 1-best 156.1 QB rating is the highest in league history for a player debuting with a new team.
2. Chiefs (2): The re-engineered offensive line generally held up well -- particularly given three players with zero NFL experience were debuting -- as did Kansas City's proclivity to fall into double-digit holes before dramatically climbing out of them.
1. Buccaneers (1): Poor start by a defense that was the true Super Bowl 55 MVP. But when you've got QB Tom Brady and a cast of offensive skill players that could have served as the starting lineup in the 2017 Pro Bowl, OK for the D to take an early mulligan.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ravens QB Lamar Jackson: Two late fumbles that helped Raiders win 'ticked me off'
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