There was not much for the Las Vegas Raiders to hang their hat on after finishing the 2020 NFL season at 8-8 and missing the postseason once again.
At one point, it appeared as though the Raiders were playoff-bound at 6-3 to start the second half of the season. Rather than flipping the script of the events that occurred a year prior, they fell into the same slump down the final stretch before finishing .500 on the year.
Las Vegas suffered another late collapse for the second year in a row under head coach Jon Gruden. Although most players and coaches have already started putting together their plans for the offseason, it seems he is well aware that there is still plenty of work to do.
Gruden revealed that while his coaching staff will have some time off, he does not feel deserving of a full-fledged vacation, per ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez:
“Yeah, we’re going to give our coaches some time off, and our goal is not 8-8,” Gruden said Monday in his final virtual media conference of the season. “Our goal is to win a championship, and you shouldn’t go on a cruise or go on a vacation when you’re 8-8. We’ve got to take a good look at how we can close the gap. We feel like we did to a degree with the best teams in the league, but we’re not there yet.”
The .500 record may have been a step up from last year’s 7-9 finish. Regardless, there is no question that this Raiders team fell vastly short of expectations following a hot start to the season.
Of course, the biggest concern is this team’s inability to maintain the same recipe for success throughout the course of the year. Repeating the same collapse is an indictment on Gruden and the rest of his staff that allowed it to take place under their watch. The fact that they also suffered so many setbacks due to coronavirus (COVID-19) only helps to solidify any doubts going into the offseason.
There were some positives to take away from the Raiders going an impressive 6-2 on the road this season. At the same time, they failed to defend Allegiant Stadium in their first year by going 2-6 at home.
Gruden will have some important decisions to make starting with his search for a new defensive coordinator after Paul Guenther was fired in December.