Coaching Is Costing the Oakland Raiders Victories

Apparently the Oakland Raiders were in a giving mood on Thanksgiving because they squandered a 21-7 lead in Dallas and lost to the Cowboys, 31-24. Jumping out to a lead in the first half and coming out flat in the second isn’t something new for the Raiders—it also isn’t the first time it has resulted in a loss.

Had the Raiders won last week at home, they would have been—at least for a week—in the hunt for the playoffs. The Raiders inexplicably didn’t use their timeouts at the end of that game and only had 10 seconds to try to get a score to win. Five days later, the Raiders are 4-8 and their is season all but over.

No one expected the Raiders to be good in 2013, but they have been competitive in 10 out of 12 of their games this season. The talent on the roster has been a lot better than advertised, but the inability of the coaching staff to adjust in the second half has cost the team multiple games.

For the 11th straight year, the Raiders will not have a winning season. The talent is an issue, but it’s become apparent over the last few weeks that coaching should shoulder a lot of the blame for another lost season.

Owner Mark Davis said he wanted to see improvement from the team in 2013, but the Raiders have won the same number of games as last season. There is no guarantee they will win another game either, so there is a chance they will finish with exactly the same record.

On Thursday, the coaching staff decided to play conservative defense at the end of the first half, and the Cowboys drove the length of the field in less than two minutes to cut Oakland’s lead to 21-14. The Raiders had built a 21-7 lead by aggressively blitzing and were set to receive the second-half kickoff.

The Raiders haven’t been able to get pressure on the quarterback rushing three or four all season, and any quality quarterback should be able...

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