Josh McDaniels is entering his second season as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. Prior to joining the Silver and Black’s ranks, McDaniels spent an entire decade in New England as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator. Without him, both league officials and members of the Patriots felt an “offensive dysfunction” in Foxborough all throughout 2022.
The New England Patriots finished the 2022 season with the seventh-least yards gained, ranking in the bottom-half of the league for points scored. This was a considerable drop from their ’21 campaign, where the team totaled the 15th-most yards and sixth-most points scored throughout the year.
What caused such a change? Josh McDaniels’ departure.
It isn’t only the severe difference in numbers that tell the story here. As Mike Giardi‘s sources tell him, “The decisions [Belichick] made set the table for Mac’s regression. For the entire offensive regression.” This is in direct relation to McDaniels leaving, and how it affected both Mac Jones and the Patriots.
“The offensive dysfunction was felt on all levels of the offense and by all position groups. There were coaches who knew that this system/play calling/play design was not up to the previous standards set in Foxborough with Josh McDaniels in charge. The players felt it,” a source continued to tell Giardi.
In addition to the numbers, league officials, and players, the team’s record in 2022 is just another result of McDaniels’ departure. Two seasons ago, the Patriots made the postseason with a 10-7 record. One year later, that record dropped to 8-9.
More of “his” guys, more familiarity with the team – An important year for Josh McDaniels and the Raiders
The difference of culture back in New England without McDaniels is very real, but it’s hard for Raider Nation to care much when their 10-7 team took a monstrous step back to 6-11. Still, there’s good reason to believe the Raiders will improve on their record from 2022, if for no other reason than the team being too talented to lose that many games in the first place.
This offseason didn’t excite too many fans, but Dave Ziegler did pull off a few great signings. Most notably, Las Vegas’ receiving corps feels almost unfair, and players such as Duke Shelley and David Long quietly have done great things.
The Raiders have five receivers rostered who had a QB rating above 116.0 when targeted in the slot in 2022.
Phillip Dorsett (148.8)
Cam Sims (118.8)
DeAndre Carter (118.0)
Jakobi Meyers (117.4)
Davante Adams (116.7)
— Alex Monfreda (@AlexMonfreda) April 5, 2023
Add another year of familiarity with the team, and Josh McDaniels is poised to improve on the six wins last season.
The Raiders are still far from perfect but hold the seventh-overall pick in the upcoming draft. With the Darren Waller trade, Las Vegas holds four picks in the top-100. The spotlight is on Ziegler.
*Top Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Not fair, don’t care: Dave Ziegler, Raiders playing unfair with WR unit