Reasons to Fire Josh McDaniels  

This blog is supposed to be about classic Raider games and Raiders of the past but after the embarrassing disgraceful loss to the Bears this past week I thought I would chime in on the current situation. 

In his two years and 7 games as Raider coach McDaniels record is 9-15. This is mediocre. There are teams that are worse, the Bears have 5 wins, the Cardinals 5 wins, the Texans and Colts have 6 and 7 wins and Panthers have 7 wins over the same time span. However, I feel the issue is the way the team has lost, in game decision making and the way the franchise is being managed. Here are the examples:

Blown Losses

Last year the Raiders blew a NFL record 5 leads of games of 10 plus points . Including a 20 pt blown loss against the Cardinals which was a franchise record. If you include the Pittsburgh game they blew 6 games with leads of at least 7 points in 2022. 

Embarrassing Losses 

  1. The team lost to Jeff Saturday who had just come off the couch and never coached anything higher than High School football. This managed to be Saturday’s only win as a NFL head coach last year for the Colts. 
  2. The team lost to the Rams when Baker Mayfield had just been signed and got about 2 days of practice. In that game the Raiders became the first team in the modern NFL era to let a team score a game winning TD drive of more than 90 yards with less than 2 minutes left and no time outs. 
  3. This past week they lost to a 1 win Chicago team that was the worst team in the NFL in 2022. The Bears had not won a game at home in a year and were starting a Division 2 rookie QB.  It was only the second time in 50 years that a Division 2 QB had won a game.

We must look at who these losses were against. The 4-13 Cardinals, the 4-win Colts (who lost 10 of their final 11 games with the Raiders being the only win), the 5-12 Rams with a QB off the street and a Chicago team that had been 4-19 in their previous 23 games with a backup undrafted rookie QB. 

Awful Game Management 

McDaniels continues to make mistakes with his game management. In the Patriots victory he let the clock run down to under a minute before halftime instead of taking a timeout  after a third down to stop the clock, giving the Raiders a better chance at a score. 

In the Packers game with the team up 17-13 with about 90 seconds left he went for a FG instead of going for a short 4th down or punting the ball to make the Packers  go the length of the field with only 1:30 left and a timeout. Remember when you miss a FG it gives a team an extra 7 yards of field position if you miss. Better off just going for it on 4th down.

In the loss to the Steelers the team was down 23-15 with a few minutes left, he opted to Kick a FG in the Redzone putting pressure on his defence to get a stop rather than going for a potential game tying score.  

In the loss to the Bears when the Raiders were down 21-3, with a defence that could not stop the Bears, he went for a FG to make it a two TD game instead of trying to make the game a FG and TD game with a TD. This was made mute when the Bears drove right down the field and kicked the game clinching FG at 24-6. 

This has led to the Raiders having an awful offence, they have spent over $100 million this year on the offence and have yet to surpass 20 points in a game through 7 games, the first team in decades to do so. They have only scored 20 points or more on offence once in the past 10 games going back to last season.

Awful Roster Management

Then there is the awful roster management, some would argue (including myself) that the Raiders were not a true playoff team in 2021. They were a 7-8 win team that got lucky in 2021 with a lot of close wins that would not be repeated. They also drafted poorly under Gruden and Mayock and these personal decisions would catch up to them.  Rational fans knew the team would have to improve the roster to remain a playoff team. 

However, McDaniels and Ziegler have not made the roster or team better. 

They completely screwed up Chandler Jones signing. He was “their guy” and they knew about his past mental health issues. They paid him $45 million over 3 years and got 4.5 sacks and one season out of him and now have $24 million in dead money in 2022 and 2023 in Jones. 

The core of the team from 2019 to 2021 was Derek Carr, Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow. If you wanted to move on from these players I would have been ok with that. I thought it was time for the team to move on from Carr and I would have not given Waller his contract extension and pay raise. However, they extended all three of these players just to cut Carr, trade Waller and probably trade Renfrow. It makes zero sense to throw around signing bonuses and new contracts just to trade or cut players months or a year later. In addition, in the case of Waller and Renfrow, not producing in McDaniels’ offence hurt their trade value. 

Raiders Have Talent and Should Be Better

Finally, the Raiders are different from other bottom feeder teams because they have 4 (maybe 5) elite players. Maxx Crosby is maybe the best DE in the NFL, Davante Adams a top 3 WR, Josh Jacobs was the best RB in the NFL in 2022, Kolton Miller is a top 5 LT and you could argue that Jacobi Meyers is becoming a top 5 number 2 WR. Despite this the team is worse than it was 2 years ago. 

At some point something has to change. The continued in-game blunders, embarrassing losses and personal fumbles have made McDaniels tenure a disaster to date. Can he turn it around? I doubt it. The only hope is that Aiden O’Connell comes in and plays lights out. Depending on a 4th round rookie QB to be a saviour is probably not a great strategy. All and All McDaniels tenure is looking like past Patriot coaches when they got a second chance (Mangini, Crennell were disasters on the Browns and Chiefs) . If the blunders continue it is time for McDaniels to go somewhere else and become a permanent Offensive Coordinator.