Do not be surprised if Reggie decides to keep Dennis Allen on for another year, despite the obvious reasons that could be used for his dismissal. Reggie wants consistency and moving on after just 2 years from the head coach is not consistent. The problem with that reasoning is that if you hired the wrong guy, then keeping them for consistency's sake will only make it take longer to rebuild.
It was so demoralizing to watch this game against the Jets though that it is impossible not to wonder if the coaching staff needs to go. This defense started out so promising but it has only gone down hill since. The more pressure that is put on them to perform for Allen, the less well they seem to do. That is not the direction that the Raiders want to see, even if they are willing to go through bad to get to a long term good.
Watching the defense fall apart the way they did against Geno Smith and the Jets was something akin to walking in on your parents in an intimate moment. It just makes your stomach drop. There is no way that a loss like yesterday should be acceptable to anybody involved and there should be consequences.
Now it is up to the team to rebound from that disgusting performance and to move on, problem is they are stuck moving on to play the hardest teams on their schedule with the Chiefs and Broncos as their next two opponents. The good news about that is it does create a major redemption opportunity for the coaching staff and the team in all aspects.
These next two games are penciled in as losses, they have been for a long time. If they can put together solid performances and steal one of these games it can give this coaching staff a statement game to prove that they are still moving forward and not regressing. If they can play well they can redeam themselves for this blowout loss to the Jets, but if they get embarrassed again the shouts of discontent will become disastrously more intense.
Many of us have already lost faith completely with this staff and we need something to rejuvenate our hope. RIght now it's hard to remember that the team is rebuilding and playing at an extreme disadvantage salary wise and to let those problems remind us not to act to aggressively. Rebuilding teams need patience but 12 years without a winning record has eliminated any patience that had remained through the dark days.
It goes back to the question of whether this coach deserves our patience, whether this coach can take a giant step forward while no longer handicapped, and whether giving this coach one more year with a balloon of cap space will help or hurt the team in the long run. If we use all this cap space to help build Allen's system, and then scrap that system after one more year then what help did this extra money really give us?
All this talk about the coaches and the defense, you should notice that I didn't say anything about the offense. They are not off the hook either. That first half was an abomination, they played great in the second half but the first half was just as detrimental to the game as the defense was.
The offensive coordinator Greg Olson and Dennis Allen's decision to "game plan" an entire drive for Terrelle Pryor was very curious. I am all for getting Pryor some plays throughout the game to keep the defense on their toes, but bringing him in for just one drive like that just felt weird.
Pryor didn't play bad, but he also didn't amaze and then he never got in the game again. If you wanted to get another look at him, then why only let him play the one drive and not anything again? It didn't make sense to not put him in again somewhere along the line, and personally it seemed like he should have been allowed to come in again since he did get points on his only drive of the game.
Watching Matt McGloin on the sidelines, it was clear he was not thrilled with being pulled even if it was gameplanned. He had struggled a bit those first two drives and needed to get back out there, instead he watched as Pryor went out and put points on the board. It did not feel like a coincidence that the rest of that first half went so bad for McGloin, his body language was terrible.
McGloin's first half actually was what he is suppose to look like as an undrafted rookie, and that is unable to run an NFL offense effectively. Watching his performance for the first half made the questions of if he could be the QB of the future quiet down to simple murmers and it seemed like a direct result of putting Pryor in for a random drive like that.
That is no excuse for Matt who doesn't believe in excuses anyway, especially not if he knew it was coming. No matter what the case may be for reasoning, his interception inside his own 10 yard line was as inexcusable as they come. There were more defenders than receivers where he threw it. As much as I blame McGloin for that pass though, it was again terrible coaching to even call a pass play that hemmed up to their own goalline.
Just when it seemed concluded from that first half that the Raiders if given a chance would move on from Matt though, he comes out and is blisteringly efficient in the second half. That second half after his first half struggles was a thing of beauty and gave more confidence for his future than almost anything that was seen from him earlier.
McGloin just has IT. He is able to move on quickly from his mistakes and he is able to move on effectively from him. The Raiders still have questions to answer that are not easy, but man it is something watching the moxy that Matt has been playing with. It feels now more than ever that he really could be the QB of the future for this team.
Last and definitely least, the special teams. The special teams in this game was terrible, but it was an anomaly when it comes to the punting game. Bobby April has been great all year with his special teams play and despite a couple bad punting experiences there really is not too much to overly complain about for that.
Sebastian Janikowski on the other hand, that it is something real to complain about. The field goal he missed yesterday was long, and it was cold, but the Raiders pay him $4M a year to make them. His misses this year, and in other years, have been really frustrating and at the price per attempt for him there should be no frustration.
All in all this game has added more questions than answers and it is now becoming a real issue whether Dennis Allen will remain coaching this squad. If he is embarrassed like this the rest of the year the answer will be a lot easier than it is now. Consistency is only as good as the level it is at, and right now the team is consistently bad. The rest of the year needs to go better or else somebody else will be given the joy of spending next year's cap space.