The Oakland Raiders have made the headlines for the wrong reasons this season. They are off to an abysmal start at 1-7. That’s a record that is all but impossibly to come back from in the NFL. Many fans and experts alike blame coach Jon Gruden for the poor performance of the Raiders. But then again, the Raiders are an inexperienced team. So laying all the blame with Gruden may be unfair. The Raiders lack a strong running back and their running game is definitely suffering. In any case, whether it is the coach, Gruden and his decision-making, or the inexperience of the team, the Raiders are considered the worst football team in the NFL this season.
There is no coming back from a 1-7 start to the season. There is no scenario where the Raiders make the playoffs and take the league by storm. So the question becomes, what is Oakland playing for?
The obvious answer is that Oakland is looking ahead to next season. The worst team in the NFL gets the best options in the next draft. And the Raiders are looking like they could indeed be the worst team this season.
Jon’s Gruden’s Take
Gruden has made some comments recently that make it seem that he is certainly looking ahead to next season. He said that he’s looking for players that are dedicated to playing for the Raiders. This may not be the best motivating sentiment for his current players. But statements like these make it clear that Gruden is focused on next season.
So the Oakland Raiders may not be playing to win this year. No one from the Raiders organization can say this out right. But it is in their favor to lose. So after a 1-7 start to the season it won’t be surprising if the Raiders keep on losing.