The Las Vegas Raiders lost a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers by 18-23 on Sunday Night Football. Raiders coach Josh McDaniels is being slammed on social media for a decision that looked vague to some football fans.
With little over two minutes left and the team behind 23-15, McDaniels decided to take a cautious approach and kick a short field goal rather than try a fourth-and-4 from Pittsburgh’s eight-yard line. It was widely anticipated that the Raiders would take the chance and go for it given the circumstances and their location deep in Steelers territory. McDaniels opted to kick, though.
In the end, the Steelers defeated the Raiders 23-18 by skillfully managing the remaining time on the clock and securing a crucial first down just before the two-minute warning.
As the Raiders’ head coach, McDaniels’ choices have often fallen short. Few likely applauded his decision to choose the field goal on Sunday night, other than the Steelers.
The Raiders got off to a strong start in the evening. Opting for a bold move on fourth-and-1, Garoppolo connected with Davante Adams for a 32-yard touchdown, giving them an initial 7-0 lead. However, this marked the end of the Raiders’ offensive success for a significant stretch.
T.J. Watt proved to be a relentless force, consistently disrupting plays. The ground game struggled, with Josh Jacobs, who had held out during the preseason due to contract concerns, unable to find his rhythm in the first three weeks of the season. This put the offensive burden squarely on Garoppolo’s shoulders.
Following Adams’ touchdown, the Raiders’ offensive series unfolded as follows: punt, interception, punt, punt, punt, interception, and a turnover on downs. Both interceptions were costly, with passes directed straight to Steelers defenders.