However, instead of staking their claim as the class of the AFC West, the Raiders are looking like a mess.
Their lone win came against the struggling Denver Broncos in Week 4, and they rank towards the bottom of the league in many defensive categories, especially when it comes to their pass defense.
Las Vegas’ latest indignation came on Monday when they blew a 17-0 lead and lost to the Kansas City Chiefs, 30-29.
After it got a touchdown from Adams with 4:27 left in the fourth quarter to come within one, head coach Josh McDaniels elected to go for a two-point conversion instead of tie the game with an extra point, and the two-point attempt failed.
Now, some Raiders fans are casting McDaniels as the scapegoat and the cause of the team’s poor start.
Josh McDaniels and Nathaniel Hackett fighting over who is the worst coach in the AFC West pic.twitter.com/ftaYxBwbec
— Dr. Don Keedic PhD (@DonKeedicPhD) October 11, 2022
If we lose again im starting a “is Josh McDaniels fired yet” twitter page
— BigSteppaSteezy (@SteezyWasHere) October 11, 2022
Matt Rhule, Josh McDaniels and Nathaniel Hackett walk into a bar.
Thats the joke.
— fivepointsvids (@FivePointsVids) October 11, 2022
I think Josh Mcdaniels deserves to be fired after this horrible play calling
— Tony (@TonyBolognaTX) October 11, 2022
Should McDaniels be on the hot seat at this point?
Two Of The Raiders’ Losses Have Been Inexcusable
The thinking many have is that if Las Vegas had simply kicked an extra point in the fourth quarter rather than go for two points, it would’ve tied the game and put the pressure back on the Chiefs.
Yes, the Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes under center, but there is no guarantee he would’ve gotten them into field goal range, and even if he did, there is no guarantee Matthew Wright, the third field goal kicker they have used this season, would’ve converted and won the game for them.
Even if one wants to defend McDaniels going for two points, was it really wise to run the ball against one of the best run defenses in the NFL in that situation?
As bad as this loss was, the Raiders’ loss in Week 2 to the Arizona Cardinals, a game in which they led 20-0, was even worse.
Unlike the Chiefs, who are perennial championship contenders, the Cardinals are 2-3 and not exactly a lock to make the playoffs.
Both losses have put McDaniels in a dubious spot when it comes to franchise history.
— Sportskeeda Pro Football (@SKProFootball) October 11, 2022
Analytics have played a bigger role in play-calling in recent years, not just in football but in other sports as well, and while the analytics may have backed up McDaniels dubious decision, they aren’t the end-all-be-all of decision-making, as there are things, especially in terms of context, they cannot account for.
The Good News For McDaniels And His Team
The Raiders may be in the basement right now, but they have their bye this week, and after that, their schedule will be relatively easy through the end of November.
This will give them the opportunity to make the necessary adjustments and start stringing together wins.
However, once the calendar shifts to December, things will get tough for them, as they will face the Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers and Chiefs in the final six weeks of the season.
Unless Las Vegas gets things rectified before then, those losses to Arizona and Kansas City could single-handedly prevent it from making the playoffs.
If it doesn’t make the playoffs, it should take a good, hard look at McDaniels and consider hiring a more capable replacement.