Only two teams in the NFL have yet to win a game this season … and the Las Vegas Raiders are one of them. What’s frustrating is the Raiders could easily be 3-0, losing their first three games by a combined 77-64 margin. Most notably, the Raiders held an eight-point lead with four seconds left in Week 2, ultimately losing on a 59-yard fumble return by Cardinals defensive back Byron Murphy. The Raiders have been among the league’s biggest disappointments so far with former offensive lineman Ross Tucker wondering if they hired the wrong coach.
“The Raiders just can’t win a close game,” said Tucker following the Raiders’ loss to Tennessee in Week 3. “Those are the games in the margins where coaching has a big impact.”
Tapped as interim coach after Jon Gruden resigned in disgrace last fall (the result of leaked emails containing racist and homophobic slurs), Rich Bisaccia emerged as a locker-room favorite in Vegas, leading the Raiders to a rare playoff appearance, their first in five years. Bisaccia interviewed to be the Raiders’ permanent head coach but lost out to longtime Patriots assistant Josh McDaniels, who, despite his success as an offensive coordinator, struggled in his previous coaching stint with Denver, lasting less than two seasons in the Mile High City (11-17 record).
“I think it’s fair to wonder what their record would be with Rich Bisaccia as the head coach,” Tucker expressed on Monday’s recap episode of The Ross Tucker Podcast. “Remember down the stretch they won all those close games and made the playoffs?”
After being turned down for the Raiders’ job, Bisaccia defected to Green Bay, replacing Maurice Drayton as special teams coordinator. While the Raiders boast more than enough talent to overcome their early struggles, Tucker still believes Bisaccia was the more qualified candidate, putting the onus on owner Mark Davis for not giving the 20-year veteran a fair shake.
“Mark Davis thought he was too good for Bisaccia,” opined Tucker. “This is not really a big Josh McDaniels talking point. I just thought Bisaccia had earned the opportunity to continue coaching that football team. I feel like Mark Davis blew it. In the small sample, I thought Bisaccia had done very well.”
The Raiders will try to dig themselves out of an 0-3 role when the Broncos come to town in Week 4.