The Las Vegas Raiders were a solid team on paper in 2020. They started the season strong and had, at one point, a realistic shot at making the playoffs. However, they imploded in the second half of the year and lost five of their last seven games. A recent report might shed light on the collapse.
The Raiders had no accountability
After losing to the Miami Dolphins in Week 16 on a last-minute Hail Mary pass by quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, wide receiver Nelson Agholor told his teammates they ‘sucked’ and that they were ‘selfish and didn’t work hard enough, and that they had quit‘, via Vic Tafur of the Athletic. He added that there was no accountability in the locker room.
Agholor’s comments aren’t farfetched when you consider how the Raiders faltered in 2020 in spite of their free-agent additions. Also, a few players took to social media later in the year and antagonized fans. That’s not the kind of behavior that screams accountability. If quarterback Derek Carr indeed used his ‘dad’ voice as he claimed on a sit-down with the local media, it didn’t work.
What’s next for this Las Vegas team?
A few Raiders players such as Rico Gafford and Daryl Worley have disputed Tafur’s report. Nevertheless, linebacker Nicholas Morrow has publicly stated the defense lacked accountability, so Agholor’s comments may not be too far off. If they do lack accountability, they will need to find a way to fix it. Veteran players may need to be more vocal or the team’s brass may need to give the roster a makeover and bring in players that buy into the vision.
On the other hand, if the report is not true as Gafford and Worley say, how do you explain the team’s second-half collapse? What about the players’ social media quarrels? This is going to be Year 4 of Jon Gruden’s second stint with the team and there is minimal evidence of growth since he became the head coach in 2018. This is a good time for self-reflection if the Raiders want to turn things around. Depending on what they do, Agholor’s comments will be proven right or wrong.
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