The only thing worse than Josh McDaniels being a proven loser at the helm of a team is that he’s also a known cheater.
Yet the Las Vegas Raiders looked the other way and hired him anyway.
That’s why it’s impossible to feel bad for the Raiders and their 0-2 start to the season following their epic collapse to the Arizona Cardinals in Las Vegas on Sunday.
The Raiders’ 29-23 overtime loss represented the largest blown lead — 20 points — in franchise history.
Somehow, the Raiders led, 23-7, going into the fourth quarter. But they were outscored 22-0 in the fourth and overtime.
The Cards outscored the Raiders, 16-0 in the fourth. They won the game on a 59-yard fumble return in OT.
For sure, Hunter Renfrow’s fumble sealed the Raiders’ fate.
Still, the blame for this debacle has to go on McDaniels.
Up 23-7 with 12:24 left, the Raiders should have been running the ball. Instead, McDaniels had Derek Carr throw the ball. A mistake.
In OT, after the Raiders got the ball back, they just needed a field goal to win. In Cardinals’ territory, Las Vegas just needed a few more yards to kick a comfortable field goal to win. Instead, McDaniels went to throwing again, twice to Renfrow. He fumbled it both times. The second fumble was recovered by the Cards. Ballgame.
Some coaches would be fired after such a malpractice. Not McDaniels. The Raiders still think he’s the smartest guy in the room. Sadly, McDaniels has lived off the plate of Bill Belichick. Somehow, dumb owners continue to give McDaniels credit for success in New England.
And why anyone would hire a coach from the Belichick coaching tree makes no sense. The trail of failures is a mile long, including Joe Judge, Charlie Weiss, and Matt Patricia.
Shockingly, the Raiders made a coaching hire mistake. They did it with Jon Gruden, signing him to a ridiculous 10-year, $100 million contract. That reign blew up when it was uncovered that Gruden’s emails while with ESPN were filled with hate talk about anyone who wasn’t a white male in a power position.
The stuff was vile.
And despite the bombshell exposure which led to Gruden resigning, the Raiders bounced back.
Under interim coach Rich Bisaccia, they turned their season around, going 10-7. They won their last four games and made the playoffs.
Still, Davis wasn’t impressed and felt like he needed a big name coach. Enter McDaniels.
Most thought he would have never gotten another chance when he pulled out of the Indianapolis Colts job at the last minute in 2018, after originally accepting the deal.
For most, it would have been a death knell. Not for Teflon Josh. In his first head coaching gig, he was fired. Not for moving up in the draft to get the lousy Tim Tebow in the first round. He wasn’t issued a pink slip because the Broncos (11-17) couldn’t win and reeked during his tenure.
The big reason was that McDaniels was caught cheating, recording the 49ers’ walkthrough in London before a game. He was fined $50,000 by the NFL.
Where have we seen this movie before? Oh yeah, Belichick received the biggest fine for a coach in the league for Spygate. Yes, the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.
That should have been it for McDaniels. That reputation should have made him unhireable. Who would want someone so dishonest to run their franchise, soil the team’s standing in the league?
Yep, the Raiders.
They deserve each other.
It’s been a long time since the late, great Al Davis was on the top of his game as owner and the Raiders were, indeed, all about just winning, baby.
The current Raiders just can’t get it right and are always tripping over their own feet.
The last time the Raiders won a Super Bowl was 1984, almost 40 years ago.
And after watching McDaniels’ Raiders the first two games out of the gate in the desert, it doesn’t look like they are any closer this season.
Raiders’ fans can try to convince themselves things will get better, not worse.
But a good measuring stick is that the Kansas Chiefs dropped an easy 44 on the Cardinals. Yet, Arizona beat the Raiders at their own crib. Vegas, somehow, came into the game as the favorite. It might take a season or two before the Raiders realize they hired McFraud, not McDaniels.