Gregg Williams saved the Las Vegas Raiders’ season and lost his own job with one head-scratching decision on Sunday.
Less than 24 hours after the Raiders’ stunning 31-28 win at the New York Jets, the Jets fired Williams as their defensive coordinator. Williams inexplicably called for a cover zero blitz (a maximum blitz package) and left speedy Raiders’ rookie wide receiver Henry Ruggs III in single coverage with a much slower Lamar Jackson on him.
Ruggs blew by Jackson and caught a 46-yard touchdown pass from Raiders’ quarterback Derek Carr with five seconds remaining to give the Raiders a miracle victory and improve their record to 7-5. The win kept them in AFC playoff contention, while loss to the still-winless Jets would have been devastating to the Raiders.
Carr admitted he was stunned to see the Jets’ coverage on the play and Jets safety Marcus Maye called out Williams for the play call after the game.
The play has been the hot topic in the NFL ever since and analysts have been slaying Williams for the unusual call. With no time outs, all the Jets needed to do was seal the end zone and the sidelines and force the Raiders — who also had no time outs remaining — to go to the middle of the field and the game would likely be over. But Williams gave Las Vegas a gift and now he’ll be home for the holidays.
Rex Ryan on the Gregg Williams call (via @GetUpESPN): “Dumbest call I’ve ever seen. Been around the thing for 58 years, 30 years as a coach. That’s the dumbest call ever. There’s a time and place for Cover-0. That sure ain’t it. It’s just stupid.” #Jets pic.twitter.com/pvFtL1XgBh— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) December 7, 2020