The Las Vegas Raiders suffered a pivotal loss versus the Indianapolis Colts in a game with major playoff implications during Week 14.
The Raiders have stumbled through the 2020 NFL season with multiple setbacks due to injuries and COVID-19. While the offense has been able to find its rhythm at times, the defense –under coordinator Paul Guenther– struggled to make any significant strides.
Things took a turn for the worst after this group gave up 456 total yards to the Colts in their 44-27 loss. As a result, the team has decided to make some changes.
The Raiders announced that they have parted ways with Guenther and defensive line coach Rod Marinelli will serve as interim coordinator for the rest of the season:
The Raiders have relieved Paul Guenther of his duties as defensive coordinator. Defensive line coach Rod Marinelli will serve as interim defensive coordinator for the remainder of the 2020 season.
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) December 14, 2020
The move does not come as much of a surprise now that the Raiders’ playoff hopes have started to fade.
Las Vegas had high hopes for a potential resurgence on defense after making efforts to invest in this group over the offseason. This included the additions of linebackers Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski, defensive tackle Maliek Collins, defensive end Carl Nassib and safety Jeff Heath.
It is safe to say that they have fallen vastly short of expectations. Going into the matchup versus the Colts, the Raiders boasted the No. 22-ranked total defense, were 24th against the pass and 19th against the run. Perhaps the most glaring statistic was that they were tied for 30th in sacks with 15.
Las Vegas allowed Indianapolis to run will for 212 yards and only managed one quarterback hit on Philip Rivers. The onus will now fall on Marinelli to help potentially end things on a high note over these next three weeks.
While the Raiders have not been officially eliminated from playoff contention just yet, they are no longer in control of their own destiny.