Jon Gruden mentioned getting some sleep and maybe even enjoying a cold beverage to celebrate his team’s season-ending victory. I doubt the slumber will last long. There is much work to do.
The Raiders went all last-minute dramatics in rallying to beat the Broncos 32-31 on Sunday at Empower Field at Mile High, allowing Gruden’s third team since his return as head coach to finish 8-8.
It’s a one-game improvement over last season. Yet in no way should anyone be breaking out any bubbly. The Raiders were 6-3 at one point.
They were competent on offense but not in a manner that could overcome countless defensive weaknesses. As much as folks like to praise how the Raiders moved down the field— and they did quite well for large chunks of the season — it’s also true they still lack a true No. 1 receiver and stopped running the ball with any consistency the last month or so. Turnovers were a problem.
Improvement is also needed on that side.
But any steps toward a significant movement in the win column must begin on defense, where the Raiders ranked 29th in scoring against and 24th in yards allowed.