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#pounditSunday, July 14, 2024

Josh McDaniels makes absolutely baffling decision against Steelers

Josh McDaniels in a visor

Jul 31, 2023; Henderson, NV, USA; Las Vegas Raiders coach Josh McDaniel during training camp at the Intermountain Health Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Raiders are going nowhere under Josh McDaniels, except for the bottom of their division.

McDaniels made an absolutely baffling decision during his Raiders’ loss at home to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night.

The Raiders fell behind 23-7 and finally started to rally in the fourth quarter. They scored a touchdown with 5:41 left and added a 2-point conversion to make it 23-15. Their defense forced a 3-and-out, and they got the ball back near midfield. The Raiders looked well positioned to potentially tie the game. But that was before McDaniels’ big brain got in the way.

The Raiders ended up with a 4th-and-5 at the Pittsburgh 29 with 3:11 left and sent Daniel Carlson out for a 48-yard field goal attempt. Carlson made the kick, but the Steelers committed an infraction on the play. Rather than decline the penalty and take the points, McDaniels accepted the 15 yards.

That seemed like a smart move because the Raiders needed a touchdown and 2-point conversion to tie the game, not three points from a field goal. And that’s exactly what made McDaniels’ next decision so baffling.

The Raiders got six yards on the ensuing play to bring the ball to the Pittsburgh 8. But the Raiders’ drive stalled on consecutive incompletions, bringing up 4th-and-4 from the 8 with 2:31 left.

That’s when McDaniels’ decision came in.

Rather than go for the needed touchdown, he chose to kick a short field goal that cut the lead to … five points. Yes, even after the field goal, the Raiders still needed a touchdown. The field goal did nothing for them.

Not only was that a poor decision, but the Raiders’ defense allowed the Steelers to convert a first down and run down the clock. The Raiders didn’t get the ball back until there were 12 seconds left and Las Vegas was at their own 15-yard line. Jimmy Garoppolo threw an interception to seal the 23-18 loss.

But hey, at least Daniel Carlson got a good workout.

The Raiders went 6-11 under McDaniels last season. They’re going nowhere under him this year either.

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