The 2016 Oakland Raiders have put together a dream season for their fan base and their own confidence.
They clinched a playoff berth with two weeks left on the regular season, and can lock up a first round bye if they finish strong. This has created quite the social media firestorm, some good, some not so much.
Most of it, though, has been greatly entertaining. Here are a few of the best tweets sent this season:
Chants of "MVP!" used to fill Qualcomm Stadium for LaDainian Tomlinson or Philip Rivers. They did just now for Derek Carr.
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) December 19, 2016
A few NFL teams have ridiculous fan bases, willing to travel cross country several times each season. The Raiders, generally, are not one of them. But in state? Bet your Silver and Black pocket change.
Raiders fans invaded the Chargers home park, and made it more like the Oakland Coliseum, with estimates varying but a consensus that 70 percent of fans in attendance were rooting on the Raiders.
Think Cooper lost that in the light
— Raiders on SFBay.ca (@RaidersSFBay) December 9, 2016
Amari Cooper was wide open downfield, and Raiders quarterback Derek Carr lofted a dime — until it became a penny. Against the rival Chiefs, on the road, the ball seemed to change direction unexpectedly and without obvious reason.
It fell to the turf, along with hope that Oakland would win. And for one week, the Chiefs held sole possession of the AFC West.
#Raiders haven't overcome deficit of 15+ points to win since rallying from 21 down to beat Colts 38-31 9/10/2000
— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) December 4, 2016
Oakland won their week 13 tilt against Buffalo in the most comeback way a comeback could ever happen. They were down big, 15 points to be exact, and they rallied. They rallied like there was nothing to gain, and everything to lose.
And lose they did not in a 38-24 clinic that should teach everyone to never count them out.
He's sacked. Game over.
— Jerry McDonald (@Jerrymcd) November 28, 2016
There’s some beauty in the simplicity of Jerry McDonald‘s tweet. Arguably the best beat man to cover the Raiders since their inception, McDonald describes Panthers quarterback Cam Newton being taken to the turf, putting the cap on Oakland’s first winning season since 2002.
Derek Carr at the podium being asked questions like he's OJ in 1994. Where did the glove come from? Why did you need it?
— Raiders on SFBay.ca (@RaidersSFBay) November 28, 2016
Carr dislocated his right pinky finger in two places after a mishap while taking a snap from center Rodney Hudson. He left the game for a drive, then returned to a huge ovation. But the post game presser was comical, at least, with most of the questions circling around his smallest digit.
Suffice it to say, Carr was annoyed. But there’s nothing wrong in having a little fun.
Jason Leskiw is SFBay’s Oakland Raiders beat writer and member of the Professional Football Writers of America. Follow @SFBay and @LeskiwSFBay on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of Raiders football.