It was improbable that the Las Vegas Raiders were even in the playoffs but the 26-19 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals has to sting. The team had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds but Derek Carr threw an interception on fourth down that ended the game. While the Raiders should be happy that they even had a chance to win and advance, there are some serious questions facing the team going forward.
Interim head coach Rich Bisaccia did an admirable job leading the team through a tough year but there is still no guarantee he has earned the full-time head coaching job. Regardless, the Raiders will conduct a full coaching search and interview a number of candidates. Bisaccia will get a shot but there’s a lot that needs to happen. If it’s up to the players, he’d get the job without question. Carr made his stance clear.
“We all think he is the right guy,” Carr said of Bisaccia after the loss. “Not just players, not just one side, but everybody. People listen to him, and not just people, but our team listens to him. I love him so much and I’m thankful for him. All those things will be decisions that I don’t get to make. I just play quarterback. … We’ll see what happens. We all know what we want to have happen.”
ALL the latest Raiders news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Raiders newsletter here!
Maxx Crosby Also Endorses Bisaccia
Carr’s comments about Bisaccia don’t come as a surprise. This team played hard for the coach and he did a much better job than anybody could’ve expected. Pro Bowl defensive end Maxx Crosby also endorsed Bisaccia after the game.
“Rich is a great leader, one of the best people I know,” Crosby said. “One of the most honest dudes I know. I’ll go to bat for him any day of the week. … I hope we keep doing it.
Owner Mark Davis will have to factor in how his players feel before he makes a decision regarding the Raiders’ next head coach. They have very strong feelings about Bisaccia and likely won’t be happy if he’s not retained.
What Will Raiders Do?
Bisaccia did an excellent job this year keeping the Raiders focused and getting them to the playoffs. However, the team can’t just give him the job because of that. During the regular season, seven of the team’s 10 wins were by one possession. The Raiders won four straight games to end the year on game-winning field goals. They also finished with a -65 point differential, which means they were getting blown out in losses and winning close games.
The Raiders caught lightning in a bottle this season and it’s fair to question if that’s sustainable for another year with the current staff. It’s possible that Bisaccia is the right guy to lead this team going forward but Davis will have to weigh his options. If a proven winner like Jim Harbaugh wants to take the job, it’s something the Raiders need to strongly consider.