The Las Vegas Raiders have underachieved drastically under first-year head coach Josh McDaniels. At 6-9 and pretty much out of the playoff picture barring a myriad of happenings, this season has been disappointing. That wasn’t the expectation when the team hired McDaniels, and traded for All-Pro wideout Davante Adams. They also added pass rusher extraordinaire Chandler Jones, but to be three games under .500 is downright unacceptable for a team that had division title and deep playoff run dreams.
Saturday’s loss in emotional, cold and snowy Pittsburgh on the weekend of the 50th anniversary of the “Immaculate Reception,” was a microcosm of what’s been ailing this Raiders team all season. In a very winnable game the Raiders defense was outstanding, but the offense was abysmal. It was so bad the aforementioned McDaniels told reporters this during his Monday presser.
“For us to be able to win this time of year and be productive, offensively we have to throw the ball better than what we’ve thrown it at times here in the last month and a half. We’ve been able to win some in spite of that, overall, but clearly, that’s not the goal. The goal would be to be more productive that what we’ve been.”
Well, on Wednesday the possibility came to fruition as McDaniels announced that the team was benching Carr, and going with Jarrett Stidham, a player who’s never started an NFL game before.
A team source confirmed to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that the two sides came to a mutual agreement that he’d step away.
“The two sides talked about it and thought it was best.”
Derek Carr, who hasn’t been very good all season, but has been really bad the last five weeks. He’s thrown nine interceptions in that timeframe, most in the NFL. And what’s even more alarming is how egregious some of the throws have been. Not even close to the intended target, and that’s not the Carr we’ve seen in the past. He’s always been solid and serviceable, and the belief was adding Adams to a unit with running back Josh Jacobs, slot receiver Hunter Renfrow and hybrid tight end Darren Waller this offense would be unstoppable, not so fast.
McDaniels Says Move Is To Evaluate Younger Player: Is He Serious?
During Wednesday’s announcement McDaniels, who hasn’t been good in either spot he’s been a head coach, Denver now Las Vegas says the move is about evaluating younger players.
“None of us are happy with where we’re at, but we think it’s an opportunity to evaluate a younger player who hasn’t had much time to play. Derek was great. He understands the scenario that we’re in and the situation and is very supportive of the two young guys. He’ll do anything he can to help them.”
While that sounds good, we also know the NFL is a business and with the Raiders at 6-9 and needing a ton of help to make the playoffs.
This is more about Carr’s contract, and how they may attack it at season’s end. The team has until February, 15th to cut him to save nearly $28M of his $33M salary for 2023.
McDaniels And Carr Didn’t Fit This Season:
For whatever reason, the McDaniels and Carr pairing hasn’t been as expected. While Carr has passed for over 3,500 yards and 24 touchdowns, he also has a league-high 14 interceptions, which ties his career-high from last season. Some of it seems to lack of understanding the offense, some is definitely on McDaniels who holds the distinction as the only team to lose to the Colts since Jeff Saturday infamously took the reigns. And some of it just bad football being played by Carr weekly.
Las Vegas should also be asking themselves is McDaniels the right guy to lead us going forward. Based on owner Mark Davis comments last month, he is.
“I like Josh. He’s doing a fantastic job. That’s why I hired him.”
Doubt Davis hired him to be 6-9 with that roster and money spent.
Also what about Davante Adams who came here to get rejoin his college roommate and quarterback, and to get away from the yearly offseason theatrics of Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay.
Now it looks as if he could be back to square one, with no idea who’ll be passing him the football in 2023.
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