A week ago, it seemed like Antonio Pierce was entering the final four-game stretch of his duty as the Las Vegas Raiders’ interim head coach before the team goes on to find a permanent replacement for the fired Josh McDaniels.
That’s what comes with a three-game losing streak and being shutout after the bye week.
Yet, now there is some renewed excitement about the Raiders and Pierce’s status with the team as they begin preparations to play at the Kansas City Chiefs on Christmas Day in seven days.
That’s what comes with a team-record 63-21 win over the division rival Los Angeles Chargers.
Let’s take a closer look at Pierce’s chances of winning the job with three games to go:
Was epic win over Chargers enough?
It will certainly never be forgotten and it’s a franchise highlight, but if the Raiders lose out, will Raiders’ owner Mark Davis still be romanced by the sheer fun of Week 15? Probably not. For context, the previous Raiders’ single game points record was 59 when they beat Denver 59-10 in 2010. Coach Tom Cable was fired after that 8-8 season by Davis’ father, Al. So, at the end of the day, it’s one game as glorious as it may have been.
It was impressive (to say the least) that the Raiders were able to put together the performance against the Chargers after the Vikings’ debacle. He kept the team together and they answered the call. That’s a sign of a coach who has command of his roster.
The difference between the 5-8 Raiders and Chargers in Week 14 was that the Las Vegas players cared. The Chargers looked indifferent on the field. That helped get Brandon Staley fired the morning after the game. Raiders’ players love playing for Pierce and that shows. That’s invaluable.
Win at Arrowhead:
A win at Kansas City (where they have won once in the past 10 years), keeping the Raiders’ iffy playoff hopes alive, would go a long way to getting Davis’ attention and getting Pierce to the finish line. Everyone knows it and expect to see a spirited road team on Christmas. Let’s see how it plays out.
The Raiders’ offense has exploded in two of Pierce’s six games and has sagged in four of them. Finding a way to get consistency on the that side of the ball will help the Raiders’ chances in the final three games and, thus, help Pierce’s cause to win the job. It may not be his side of the ball, but it’s important.
Most wins by 24+ points by #Raiders coaches in past 20 seasons:— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) December 15, 2023
Antonio Pierce 2
Tom Cable 2
Jack Del Rio 1
Jon Gruden 1
Davis may regret not keeping 2021 interim coach Rich Bisaccia after he led the team to a 7-5 record and a playoff berth. Because of that experience, it may help Pierce get the job even he doesn’t get to the postseason. Davis may not want to repeat mistakes.
He wants it:
There’s only 32 of these gigs, so, of course, Pierce wants to keep the job. But he coach’s like it. He was merciless against the Chargers. He’s fighting for this job and Davis probably loves that.
Antonio Pierce said if you're a Raiders fan or cover the team, "you have to be excited about the young players." Said Michael Mayer's block on Khalil Mack the first play set the tone for the whole game.— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) December 15, 2023
The young players:
The Raiders’ young players showed out against the Chargers. That hasn’t always been the case this season. if that progress continues down the stretch, Davis may not want to disrupt the staff and mess with the chemistry being created.
Your thoughts on Antonio Pierce’s status?
This poll is closed
Give him the job
We can do better
Let’s decide after the season