The Las Vegas Raiders weren’t expected to be 2-7 midway through the season with playoff hopes dwindling away by the week. Normally, during a season like this, fingers start to point, and they normally are in the direction of the coaching staff.
But Raiders owner Mark Davis quashed any inkling his head coach, Josh McDaniels, will be getting canned.
“People in today’s world want instant gratification,” Davis said via ESPN after the Indianapolis Colts defeated his Raiders in Las Vegas Sunday. “The guy’s coached nine games. We’re 2-7, not the results we’re looking for, but, at the same time, we’ve lost six one-score games with the ball and a chance to win at the end.
“Rome was not built in a day.”
Las Vegas was a playoff team last season behind the solid play of quarterback Derek Carr and a pesky defense.
But 2022 team stats say differently about these Raiders. On defense, they rank 28th in points allowed, giving up an average 25.1 per game, and they give up 371.9 yards per game under new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham.
Offensively, the Raiders haven’t been that bad, with 335.1 total yards on average per contest (17th in the NFL). They are also averaging 22.6 points per game (14th).
However, a lot of those points have come in the first half with the Raiders blowing leads late. The Raiders are 21st in the NFL in second-half points with 10.4 per game. In their last three contests, they’ve averaged just 4.3 points after halftime.
One of those games was a blowout to the New Orleans Saints on the road, a 24-0 shutout. Then, after leading the Jacksonville Jaguars 20-10 at the half, the Raiders didn’t score a point in the second half, and the Jags came back to win 27-20.
Las Vegas has lost four of its last five games after its 25-20 defeat Sunday to the Colts.
It doesn’t help McDaniels that he’s also had to deal with brutal injuries, especially to tight end Darren Waller and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow, who are both on injured reserve.
But the commitment to McDaniels doesn’t seem to be wavering from Davis.
“I gave him my vote of confidence when I signed him to a contract to be coach of the Raiders. That’s when I gave it to him,” David said.
“We are building,” McDaniels added Monday via ESPN. “I have never used the word ‘rebuilding’ or anything like that. It’s the National Football League; there’s not five years to do that.”
McDaniels added that Davis has not reassured him with job security.
“I’m going to control what I can control and do the best I can at my job. And part of that is continuing to think about the future and next year and what goes on beyond the next few months here,” McDaniels said.
“If somebody tells me that my time is done, then my time is done.”