Had the Las Vegas Raiders just lost to the Chicago Bears in Week 7, dropping the game wouldn’t have stung so much. They were starting a backup quarterback while playing on the road for a 10:00 a.m. body clock game, and we knew the Raiders were an average team at best.
But Las Vegas didn’t just lose the game by one or even two possessions. The team got dominated by a 1-5 squad that was starting a backup quarterback, an undrafted rookie free agent from a Division II school at that, and a head coach who is expected to get fired at the end of the season.
So, there are no winners this week when it comes to the Silver and Black as it’s time to put pressure on the people in charge of this mess.
LOSER: Mark Davis
I almost hesitate to put Mark Davis down as a ‘loser’ because, honestly, he’s about the only one who ‘wins’ in this scenario. The money keeps flowing in for him, and he gets to celebrate with the Aces today as they’re back-to-back WNBA Champions and the parade is today.
So, while Raider fans are pissed off at work on Monday, Mark is out partying on the strip, taking shots with A’ja Wilson, Candace Parker and Kelsey Plum, and he’ll probably cap off his night with a big order of orange chicken from P.F. Changs. Sounds like a good time!
Yet the football team Davis owns is a complete mess and he’s 100 percent culpable. I give Josh McDaniels a lot of flak for taking a playoff team and turning them into a bottom-feeder. But, at the end of the day, someone put McDaniels in that situation and that person needs to be held accountable.
Raider fans are pissed off and have every right to be, but the only thing Davis will do is show thin skin and tell the people who are giving him their hard-earned money to “smarten up!” Well Mark, why don’t you take your own advice and work on fixing your 82-119 record as an owner?
LOSER: Josh McDaniels
Speaking of records, McDaniels is now 20-32 as a head coach...20 and 32. (I had to repeat it for an extra dramatic effect.)
So, even if Las Vegas all of a sudden gets hot and manages to run the table for the rest of the season, McDaniels will still have a losing record.
What’s sad is yesterday might not even be his worst loss over the last two years. The Athletic’s Vic Tafur tweeted/posted on X that getting blown out by the Tyson Bagent-led Bears is behind last season’s losses to Jeff Saturday’s Colts and the Rams when Baker Mayfield had been on the team for three days. While I, and other people, might argue against that, the fact this is even a debate is pretty pathetic.
Almost every decision McDaniels has made since taking over has blown up in his face, and we can add starting Brian Hoyer in Chicago to that list. Granted, I can’t say I blame McDaniels too much for the initial decision, but not turning to Aidan O’Connell until the game was out of hand makes the whole situation indefensible. That’s just another example of the coach being hard-headed and stuck in his ways.
It’s pretty clear McDaniels isn’t cut out to be a head coach and this so-called “offensive genius” can’t even figure out how to score 20 points.
LOSER: Brian Hoyer
As mentioned above, Hoyer shouldn’t have been in the situation he was put in and, at the very least, should have been pulled from the game long before that move actually happened. But, his number was called and he failed to live up to expectations.
It seemed like pass after pass was inaccurate as even his completions were often behind receivers. That led to a 53.1 completion percentage, a measly 4.0 yards per attempt and two interceptions, one that was returned for a pick-six.
Not that anyone was expecting the career-long backup to come in and light it up, but Hoyer’s performance might have sealed his fate as I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the last time he plays in a regular season NFL game. That is unless McDaniels gives him another shot...
LOSER: Defensive line
I wanted to call out a single player or two, but the truth is the entire defensive line played poorly. Everyone knew Chicago was going to pound the rock with a backup quarterback making his first career, yet they still racked up 173 yards on the ground and averaged 4.6 yards per rush as a team.
D’Onta Foreman, who is the Bears’ third running back, looked unstoppable with 16 carries for 89 yards (5.6 YPR) and two rushing touchdowns. A big reason why that happened is Las Vegas’ defensive line got manhandled by a team that, coming into the game, ranked tied for 27th in the NFL with a collective PFF run-blocking grade of 49.3.
The Raiders’ defensive tackles were consistently getting washed inside and no one was setting the edge as the Bears could get pretty much whatever they wanted on outside runs, too. For a group that had been playing well recently, Sunday was a gigantic step backward.
LOSER: Marcus Peters
Marcus Peters was far from the defense’s biggest problem and he did have a nice pass breakup to prevent a touchdown, but there was one play that just didn’t sit right with me.
The Raiders were only down 7-0 in the second quarter and Hoyer had thrown a pick to give the Bears the ball in Las Vegas’ territory, but the defense had the Bears in third and one. They gave Foreman the ball and Peters had a chance to potentially make the stop, but he goes in with a half-assed olé tackle attempt, so the running back gets the first and eventually scores a few plays later.
Now, maybe Peters doesn’t make that play and the offense gets the first down anyway, but that’s not my issue. The lack of effort from someone who, as a long-tenured veteran in the league, is supposed to be a leader and set an example for the other players on the roster is what I take exception to.
To me, that’s an example of someone quitting on the game and the team which is unacceptable from anybody, let alone someone who is supposed to be a leader. No wonder the defense played so poorly if that’s the type of effort they’re getting, in the first half of a 7-0 ball game at the time mind you.