Many expected the Las Vegas Raiders to be a true contender for the AFC West, despite tough divisional foes in the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers. However, midway through the season, the team finds themselves at 2-7, with their playoff hopes fading with each passing week. Despite the external pressure from the media and fans, Raiders’ owner Mark Davis is sticking up for his head coach Josh McDaniels.
Davis repeatedly stated confidence in his coach, whose debut season with the Raiders has gotten off to a messy start so far. “People in today’s world want instant gratification,” Davis said after the Indianapolis Colts defeated his Raiders at home in Las Vegas Sunday, according to ESPN. “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.”
He added a familiar idiom: “Rome was not built in a day.”
Despite off-field distractions last season including the firing of Jon Gruden and the Henry Ruggs situation, Las Vegas made the playoffs. Derek Carr and a solid defense helped the team rise above expectations. Many believed they would build upon that momentum.
However, the 2022 Raiders are a different story. Their defense ranks 28th in points allowed. They’ve been giving up an average 25.1 per game. They’ve also allowed 371.9 yards per game under new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham.
The Raiders have been decent on offense, averaging 335.1 total yards per contest, which ranks 17th in the league. They average 22.6 points per game, which ranks 14th.
Many of these points have come in the first half before the Raiders have blown leads late in the game. The Raiders rank only 21st in the NFL in second-half points, putting up only 10.4 after halftime of contests. It’s been worse in their last three, as they’ve averaged merely 4.3 points in the second halves.
Josh McDaniels Has ‘Vote of Confidence’ from Mark Davis
The New Orleans Saints handed them a 24-0 shutout on the road. Then, the Jacksonville Jaguars came back after being down ten points at half. Raiders didn’t score a point after halftime, and the Jaguars came back to win 27-20.
Las Vegas has now lost four of its last five games after losing 25-20 on Sunday to the Colts.
To make matters tougher, the Raiders have had a fair share of injuries. Star tight end Darren Waller and nifty wide receiver Hunter Renfrow are both on injured reserve and have been limited throughout the season.
However, Mark Davis doesn’t seem to have lost any faith in McDaniels.
“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,” Davis said.
“We are building,” McDaniels added Monday. “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 hasn’t mentioned job security to him.
“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.
He added: “If somebody tells me that my time is done, then my time is done.”