Las Vegas Raiders column in advance of NFL Playoff game with Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday

They are questions worth asking.

Simply put, would the Raiders have made the playoffs had Jon Gruden never resigned as head coach? Would they have finished better or worse than 10-7? Did they need the change in leadership that interim Rich Bisaccia has provided or did the team suffer because of it?

You can debate the questions for days and not arrive at conclusive answers. But that in no way dismisses the terrific job Bisaccia has done in the most uncommon of situations.

More:Paul Daugherty: Are the playoffs enough for Bengals fans? Not after what they've been through.

“To see the joy, just to see how Coach Bisaccia led us this year, our coaching staff staying together,” said quarterback Derek Carr. “People had new roles … Hopefully it’ll be a Disney movie someday, and I get to play Coach Bisaccia. That’s probably my goal next.”

Las Vegas Raiders interim head coach Rich Bisaccia speaks with quarterback Derek Carr (4) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

He has other, more pressing ones at the moment.

On to Cincinnati

The Raiders meet Cincinnati in an AFC Wild Card game Saturday afternoon at Paul Brown Stadium, just the second time since 2002 that the visitors will have advanced to the NFL’s postseason.

More:'We have our hands full.' Bengals potential playoff win depends on Joe Burrow's protection

The Raiders were 3-2 when Gruden stepped away following a New York Times report that he used misogynistic and anti-gay language in numerous emails during a seven-year period beginning in 2011.

Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden looks up the scoreboard in the fourth quarter of a Week 15 NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018, at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Bengals won 30-16.

It was a dark cloud the franchise wouldn’t have survived had he not departed. He had to go. But that didn’t mean things instantly changed for the better under Bisaccia.

Think back to the game at Kansas City on Dec. 12.

The Raiders would trail 35-3 at intermission and lose 48-9, turning the ball over five times on a day they began by congregating at midfield of Arrowhead Stadium and foolishly stomping up and down on the home-field logo.

Source link

Show More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button