Josh McDaniels – The field goal doesn’t indicate a lack of confidence in the Raiders’ offense

Paul Gutierrezespn staff writerSep 25, 2023, 02:00 am ETread 4 minutes

Jimmy Garoppolo flies out to third down to end the game

Jimmy Garoppolo threw his third interception of the game as the Steelers came away with the win in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas – trailed by eight points and is fourth and fourth With 2:25 to play at the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 8-yard line, Las Vegas Raiders coach Josh McDaniels sent out his field goal team.

Less than a minute earlier, Las Vegas kicker Daniel Carlson had a 48-yarder denied only by a Steelers penalty, getting the Raiders closer to the end zone.

“You’ve got two options there,” McDaniels said after the Raiders lost 23-18 to the Steelers on Sunday night. “You try to make it a five-point game [with the field goal], where you have the opportunity to win it with a touchdown when you get the ball back. Or you try to go there for it. And then if you convert you have to do a two-point conversion.”

According to espn analyticsGoing for it would have given the Raiders a 15.8% chance of victory, while kicking a field goal would have given them a 10.2% chance.

With three timeouts remaining, as well as a 2-minute warning, McDaniels was confident his defense could get the ball back with enough time to drive for the winning score.

Instead, the Steelers started at their own 25-yard line, gained a first down and by the time Las Vegas got the ball back, there were only 12 seconds on the clock, all of the Raiders’ timeouts had been burned and they were on their own. 15 yard line.

Jimmy Garoppolo’s interception – his third of the game – on a deep out pass to left tackle Davante Adams ended the game.

Asked if not doing so was a sign of a lack of confidence in the offense, McDaniels shook his head.

“You’re going to need another hinge anyway, you know what I mean?” He said. “So, it’s not a lack of confidence.”

So how close was McDaniels going on fourth-and-4?

“I don’t know, I mean, we kicked one earlier in that sequence… and then we were lucky enough to get a penalty on that field goal and then we got there,” McDaniels said. “I mean, it is what it is. Like I said, you can go either way with these, and I believed we were playing pretty good defensively and we had the ball with two minutes left. There will be a chance to bring it back.” And they have an opportunity to go out there and lead.”

Garoppolo did not comment on the decision as he was not made available to the media after the game. A team spokesperson said the quarterback was being evaluated for a concussion. It was unclear when Garoppolo was injured, as his injury was not evaluated during the game and he continued playing throughout, although he suffered several hard hits and was sacked four times. He finished the game completing 28 of 44 passes for 324 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions.

And while running back Josh Jacobs said he supported the decision to kick the field goal, Adams would only say he didn’t want to be seen as second-guessing anyone.

“I agree with what coach did,” said Jacobs, who rushed for a season-high 62 yards on 17 carries. “The defense started playing well at the end of the game. We were able to get the ball back with time to score.”

Said Adams, who had 13 catches for 172 yards and two TDs: “I don’t like getting into that. It’s not a good look for me. I’m a receiver.”

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