Oakland Raiders are falling apart fast


During a preseason practice, quarterback Derek Carr looks on to find a passing target. Photo from Louis Briscese, used with permission under fair use.

“If I can’t get it done, I’m not going to take their money,” Jon Gruden said in an interview with USA Today in July.

That was how Gruden responded to the hate about his recent signing of a 10-year, $100 million dollar contract to become the newest head coach of the Oakland Raiders.

The Raiders were slowly progressing into one of the best teams in the NFL under the helm of fifth year quarterback Derek Carr. Up until 2017, the Raiders had improved every season of Carr’s career, and if it weren’t for a fluke injury to Carr late in the 2016 season, the Raiders could’ve been genuine Super Bowl contenders.

Following a disappointing 2017 season where the Raiders finished with a 6-10 record, the team decided a change needed to be made. To read more about the Raiders, The Mercury News wrote about the highs and lows from the disappointing 2017 season: https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/12/29/raiders-2017-recap-best-worst-from-super-bowl-thought-to-nfl-afterthought/. The Raiders fired head coach Jack Del Rio and replaced him with the highest paid NFL coach of all time, Jon Gruden.

Despite the fact that Gruden had not coached a NFL game in over 10 years, fans loved the addition. Following the signing, Gruden fit the roster to his playstyle by letting go of three fan favorites: wide receiver Michael Crabtree, punter Marquette King and defensive end Khalil Mack.

Early on, Gruden already saw the mistake in giving up on Khalil Mack. After a September practice, he was asked about how he intended to replace the former All-Pro pass rusher.

“It’s hard to find a good [pass rusher]” Gruden said during a press conference.

Meanwhile, Mack was tearing up the NFL, recording five sacks, four fumbles, and an interception in the first four games of the season.

In the meantime, the Raiders lost their first three games of the season, with impressive play hard to come by from anywhere on the field. They barely won their first game of the season against the Cleveland Browns who started a rookie quarterback, and haven’t won another game since. Linked below is a box score from the Raiders’ lone win this season: http://www.espn.com/nfl/matchup?gameId=401030930.

The Raiders are currently ranked as the worst team in the league by NFL.com, and questions are beginning to arise on if they will win another game this season. Nonetheless, Gruden has been a huge disappointment so far, barring a complete 180 in the second half of the season.