Raiders vs Packers 2023 Week 5: Studs and Duds
Josh McDaniels - Dud
Despite the victory, head coach Josh McDaniels finds himself back in the duds category yet again. This time it’s primarily for his decision making at the end of each half as well as his questionable play calling in the red zone.
The first big issue came after Robert Spillane picked off Jordan Love with about four minutes left in the second quarter. The Raiders had the ball on the Green Bay seven and after calling a run on first down, McDaniels dialed up two short passes near the line of scrimmage.
There was a stunning lack of creativity to the play calls, which left the Raiders settling for a field goal, rather than taking an early 14-3 lead.
The Raiders have struggled in the red zone the past two seasons, and it used to be convenient to be able to blame Derek Carr for those issues, but they have carried over to this season no matter who the quarterback is. This is an area that McDaniels needs to address if the Raiders hope to be competitive this year.
The next issue came just a few minutes later, as the Raiders were set to take over with just under two minutes to go in the half. McDaniels declined to call timeout after a third down stop and the Raiders got the ball back with just under a minute left in the half.
His reasoning was that he wanted to hold on to his final two timeouts but he allowed a full minute to come off the clock before the Raiders got possession. It was an incredibly conservative decision and that pattern would re emerge at the end of the game.
After another defensive stop near the end of the fourth quarter, the Raiders got the ball back with 5:35 left in the game. The ideal situation would have been for them to completely run out the clock the way they did in Denver but they did well enough to gain two first downs and bring it all the way down to the two minute warning.
At that point, the Raiders faced fourth and two from the Green Bay 34, and had the choice to either go for it and seal the game or attempt a 52 yard field goal and go up by seven.
Raider Nation was clamoring for a Mcdaniels to go for it and kill off the game, but he instead took the safe choice and trotted out Daniel Carlson for a 52 yard field goal. Unfortunately, Carlson missed the field goal off one of the uprights, and Green Bay got the ball back on their own 42 with a chance to win the game.
We know Carlson is usually a reliable kicker but even if he had made that kick, the Packers would have had a chance to get the ball back, score, and either tie or win the game. If Mcdaniels, who is supposedly an offensive guru, can’t scheme up a play to get two yards and win the game without needing to rely on his defense, then what is he good for?
Luckily, for McDaniels, the defense bailed him out and came up with a huge turnover in the end zone, but it was literally a difference of inches between victory and defeat. Our main issue with McDaniels at this point is his inconsistency and conservative attitude which has held back this team and this offense from being an explosive unit.
He faces his mentor yet again next week in Bill Belichick and if the Raiders lose that one with all the struggles the Patriots are having, he might not make it to Thanksgiving as the head coach.