By every measure, the Raiders’ offense took a major step this season, most notably lifting its per game scoring average from 19.6 to 26.9.
The push forward should have earned the Raiders a spot in the playoffs. But with two games remaining, their postseason hopes are all but dashed.
What did them in was a defense that not only didn’t improve from last year, it actually got worse. In fact, the Raiders are giving up an average of 30.1 points per game compared with 26.2 last year while recording only 16 sacks compared with 32 last season.
The big step backward not only sabotaged the Raiders’ playoffs aspirations, it cost Paul Guenther his job as defensive coordinator, put a couple of young players in an unfavorable light and sets up some major soul searching on the part of general manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden.