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#pounditThursday, February 25, 2021

Jon Gruden, Raiders blow it playing for field goal in loss to Dolphins

Jon Gruden

The Las Vegas Raiders did not get their money’s worth from Jon Gruden on Saturday night.

The Raiders played a tight game with the Miami Dolphins in Las Vegas and had the victory in their hands until giving it away.

The Raiders were down 23-22 with 1:05 left in the game and had a 3rd-and-goal situation at the one. Rather than run the ball to try for a touchdown, Gruden had his team play for the go-ahead field goal. Derek Carr kneeled on the ball with a minute left, which allowed the clock to get down to 23 seconds left before the Raiders kicked the go-ahead field goal on fourth down.

The problem is the Raiders left 19 seconds for Miami, which was too much time.

Ryan Fitzpatrick completed a miracle pass on a blown coverage. The completion plus a roughing the passer penalty put the Dolphins at the 26, which was more than enough range for Jason Sanders to kick a winning 44-yard field goal.

The Raiders did make a smart play when Josh Jacobs went down at the one on second down because it took more time off the clock. But the third down play is where the Raiders should have just gone for a touchdown. If they got stopped, then they could kick the field goal on fourth down anyway. But if they score there, the Dolphins would have had to score a touchdown with no timeouts and under a minute left.

The Dolphins had to make some big plays without much time left in either scenario, and the Raiders’ defense would have had to make at least a stop or two in either scenario. But on the third down play, Gruden should have just tried to score the touchdown to force Miami to score a TD with under a minute left.

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