Perhaps Keyshawn Johnson was right about Jon Gruden. The ex-Jets and Bucs wide receiver never thought he was a good coach.
“He’s just always been a fraud to me,” Johnson said on ESPN earlier this month. “From day one, he’s been a used car salesman. And people bought it because he inherited a championship team built by Tony Dungy and Rich McKay, and he came in there with a little bit of different energy than we had with Tony, and it kind of kicked us over the top to get our world championship — which I am grateful for.
“But at the same time, I also saw through who he was through that journey of getting a championship.”
— Sunday Night Football on NBC (@SNFonNBC) October 24, 2021
Gone, Baby, Gone
Since Gruden’s disgraceful departure as the head coach for the Las Vegas Raiders and the NFL, the team has turned from scandal into success.
The Gang Goes 5-2 😎 pic.twitter.com/GgxXqRwuwF
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) October 24, 2021
On Sunday, the Raiders dominated the Philadelphia Eagles en route to a 33-22 win. It was their second straight victory by double digits since Jon Gruden resigned on Oct. 11.
The Raiders are now 5-2 and have taken a half-game lead in the AFC West division over the Los Angeles Chargers.
After the Eagles scored first on Sunday, the Raiders tied the game early in the second quarter. Derek Carr threw a touchdown to tight end Foster Moreau, putting the Raiders on their path. The black and silver scored 30 unanswered points, taking a 30-7 lead late in the third quarter.
Derek Carr vs the Eagles:
☠️ 323 yards
☠️ 2 TDs
☠️ 113.6 passer rating
The Raiders are the No. 1 seed in the AFC West 👀 pic.twitter.com/MV4pFDr0Xh
— PFF (@PFF) October 24, 2021
Although the Eagles made late scores closing the gap, they never threatened the Raiders.
Derek Carr took charge like he has all season long. However, on Sunday Carr played his most solid game of the season, completing 31 of 34 pass attempts for 323 yards. He also had two touchdowns and only one interception.
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) October 25, 2021
In addition, Carr achieved this without all of his weapons. Darren Waller was ruled out before the game after reportedly suffering an ankle injury in practice on Friday.
The stats for the Raiders tell the tale.
Carr finished with a 91.2 percent completion rate, ranking as the second-highest in NFL history for a player who attempted 30 or more passes. Carr now trails Drew Brees, who connected on 29 of 30 attempts in a New Orleans Saints win over the Indianapolis Colts in 2019.
The Road Ahead
Even though he is off to a great start, interim head coach Rich Bisaccia has a long road ahead. Thus far, the Denver Broncos and the Philadelphia Eagles have been beaten; however, there are more formidable challenges.
With no guarantee of permanence at the top coaching position, Bisaccia has all the motivation to continue winning.
Feeling good going into the bye 😏 pic.twitter.com/IuNoV2VUvv
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) October 25, 2021
Before a showdown with the New York Giants in Week 9, the Raiders have a bye week. However, they face the first-place Cincinnati Bengals in a span of six weeks, who just had a statement win over the Baltimore Ravens.
They also face the Dallas Cowboys, who are in the first place, and a desperate Kansas City Chiefs team seeking to re-establish its former glory in the division.
In addition, they will have a road test against Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns with postseason aspirations of their own.
For now, the team has hit greener pastures after the drama unleashed by Gruden, and that is the best news to hit the organization in weeks.