Antonio Pierce and Raiders Staff - Stud and Dud
It has been an interesting Journey for Antonio Pierce over the last 4 weeks as there has been plenty of highlights and lowlights as well. The reason that Pierce is earning both a stud and dud award this week is because there have been a lot of things to appreciate about this era of Raiders football but also some issues and had scratching decisions.
The first thing we need to appreciate is that for the first time in the history of the Las Vegas Raiders they did not have a single penalty accepted against them. We have always talked about the Raiders needing to be more poised and they appear to be sharp and prepared under this coaching staff. In both the Miami and Kansas City games, they started fast and looked competitive for the vast majority of the game but faded hard in the second half.
The lack of second half adjustments and some poor decisions in the red zone are the reasons for the dud award this week As the Raiders offense has completely stalled in the second half in these two games. Against Kansas City, Davante Adams was shut out in the second half and the ground game was no longer effective and the Raiders could only muster three points. This is a clear sign of an experience which is to be expected from a rookie head coach and rookie offensive coordinator.
The other reason for the dud award was the decision to kick a field goal early in the game when the Raiders faced fourth and short in the red zone. The Raiders were already up 7-0 and Pierce called for the field goal unit which unfortunately missed wide right. We have learned from previous games against the Chiefs, even this weekend version of their offense, you have to score a ton of points to keep up with them and kicking the field goal that early in the game felt like Pierce did not have an accurate read on what type of game this was going to be.
I know that he was criticized against the Dolphins for not taking the points but that was a very different and defensive-minded game versus the track meet that was happening against Kansas City. I also acknowledge that these are growing pains that come with being a rookie head coach so we won't be too harsh on Pierce and his staff and call them complete duds.