Las Vegas Raiders absolutely cannot let Antonio Pierce get away

The Las Vegas Raiders have found their next head coach, as Antonio Pierce has brought the team back to life since taking over.

Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders
Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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Raiders owner Mark Davis must avoid the mistake of 2021

Before Mark Davis begins interviewing candidates next month, he would be wise to look back at the past, which can help better his decision-making for the future. I’m not saying this sarcastically and I’m not saying this as a knock on him for his prior hires.

I honestly think every owner should thoroughly examine their past head coaching decisions to hopefully perfect their process in the future. Many owners continuously make the same mistakes because they’re too proud to critique their hiring process.

For Davis and the Raiders, an obvious reference point is looking at how Pierce has compared to his interim head coach predecessor, Rich Bisaccia, who didn’t get the job after taking over in 2021 following Jon Gruden’s exit.

Bisaccia was 7-5 (.583) with a playoff appearance, compared to Pierce at 4-3 (.571) with two games left in 2023.

For me, there’s a noticeable difference in the way the 2021 Raiders played compared to Pierce’s highly energetic team and his above-average defense (both aspects which did not exist prior to Pierce taking over). To put it simply, Pierce’s Raiders are much more competitive every Sunday.

Bisaccia’s Raiders were notorious for their bad losses – they lost their 5 games by an average of 18.8 points. Pierce’s 3 losses have been by an average of 8 points per game – win or lose, they’ve been in every game since he took over two months ago.

This comparison is not a slight towards Bisaccia. Like the rest of Raider Nation, I am a huge fan of his work and I’m forever grateful for how he saved a sinking ship in 2021. His situation is comparable to Pierce, so it seems like a fair assessment, and a way to shed some light on just how well Pierce is doing.

In victory, Bisaccia’s Raiders were well-known for their heart attack inducing endings. Bisaccia won by an average 5.14 points per win, while Pierce’s Raiders are winning by an average 25.33 points per win. Ok, you don’t want to count the 63-21 win over the Chargers? Fine. Pierce’s Raiders are still winning by 11.33 points over opponents when you exclude that outlier.

So, if you are one of the many who think the Raiders messed up by letting Bisaccia go, then Pierce is even more of a must-keep based on the eye test and the stats.