Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels is coaching like he’s still in New England and that has been a major problem this year.
For the last 20 years, the identity of the Raiders has been about bad defense, undisciplined play, and generally competent play from the offense. This has made for some up and down seasons, a couple of playoff appearances, and a ton of drama both on and off the field.
Now compare that to what the identity of the Patriots for the last 20 years has been. Stifling defense, great QB play, discipline on all sides of the ball, and a winning attitude that has led to unprecedented levels of success for everyone involved. Aside from having the GOAT QB on their roster, the Patriots have almost always had an incredible defense to help carry the load and that has undoubtedly shaped how Bill Belichick and his assistants have approached games.
When Josh McDaniels was in New England from 2006 to 2021 with a couple years off in Denver and St. Louis, the Patriots have averaged having the 6th best defense in the NFL in points allowed. They were usually around 10th in the league in takeaways and 13th in yards allowed which as we all know is not that relevant in the grand scheme of things. Even in Denver when the Broncos were good under McDaniels, they were 12th in points allowed.
McDaniels has almost always had the luxury of calling plays knowing that his defense will be there to cover him in case things didn’t work out. He generally erred on the side of caution because he knew that he didn’t have to take risks to score points because his defense would take the ball away or force a stop on the next drive.