Raiders rumors: Jack Del Rio has 50 percent chance of being fired
By Matt Conner
The Oakland Raiders might end up firing head coach Jack Del Rio after another disappointing season in the Bay Area, per Pro Football Talk.
It’s no secret that the Oakland Raiders had a very disappointing season in 2017. The young roster was expected to finally turn the corner and make the leap into the AFC’s elite teams, especially given all of the young talent put in place by the front office. However, some pieces have regressed, others have yet to even develop and the Raiders have endured a dumpster fire since early on in the schedule. That’s the reason why head coach Jack Del Rio is reportedly on the hot seat.
Even in a year where the Denver Broncos were miserable, the L.A. Chargers started 0-4 and the Kansas City Chiefs endured a serious slump at midseason, the Raiders could ultimately do no damage, given they were never in place to compete for most of the year. After a promising 2-0 start, the Raiders went on to lose five of their next six games—the only win a gift from the refs over the Chiefs in Week 7.
Despite the miserable record and lackluster offense, the Raiders were still in striking distance of the AFC West lead just two weeks ago. They controlled their own destiny by having match-ups scheduled with both the Chiefs and Chargers for supremacy in the West, but instead the team folded in response. The Chiefs dominated the Raiders from the outset and Derek Carr couldn’t mount a comeback in the end of a 26-15 loss to K.C.
Just last week the Dallas Cowboys bested the Raiders to sink them further in the Wild Card standings with only two weeks left, officially eliminating Oakland from playoff contention. For a team that was such a preseason darling choice for most of the NFL media, it’s a complete head-scratcher as to what went wrong. Players like Marshawn Lynch and Jared Cook were supposedly the final pieces needed for Oakland to become the new divisional power, but instead the Raiders look just as cooked as they did in years past.
Now the Raiders have one of the most expensive players under center in Derek Carr and instead of being able to hang their hopes on them, some are beginning to wonder if he is the franchise hero he’s been made (and paid) to be. Carr has clearly taken a step backwards in 2017, with four games of 2 interceptions each and inaccurate performances in several key games.
More from Arrowhead Addict
- Former Chiefs cornerback in legal trouble in Las Vegas
- Chiefs Kingdom: Get ready to break contract news
- Chiefs news: Travis Kelce wants to host fan ‘chug-off’ in Germany
- Podcast: Breaking down the Chiefs biggest roster battles
- KC Chiefs send Dave Merritt to NFL coaching accelerator
Del Rio was quick to pin the blame on Ken Norton Jr., the team’s longtime defensive coordinator who was given the axe in mid-November. At that point the Raiders hoped that making a smaller change at the coordinator level would be enough to spark the team down the stretch. They won their first two games after the change, but consecutive losses to the Chiefs and Cowboys eliminated them anyway.
Now Del Rio has to explain to his superiors why he deserves another chance at coaching this young team that’s growing older and more expensive by the year. A window that should be wide open has been sealed shut since he first arrived. In three years in Oakland, Del Rio is now 25-21 overall with a single one-and-done playoff appearance to show for all of the hype. And in his 12-year head coaching career, he has 1 playoff win and a 93-92 record overall.
While Anthony Lynn has done an impressive job turning things around after a rough start with the Chargers, the rest of the AFC West is a coaching mess. The Denver Broncos might do well to replace Vance Joseph, who seemed completely out of his element in his first season as head coach, and the Raiders have no real reason to hope that Del Rio can do better next year. Meanwhile the Chiefs hired Andy Reid before any of these coaches were ever in place and it looks like he’ll be around long after these men have found new jobs.