Title: Josh McDaniels Explains Late Field Goal Decision in Raiders’ Loss to Steelers
In a crucial moment during the Las Vegas Raiders’ game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, head coach Josh McDaniels made a controversial decision to kick a field goal instead of going for it on fourth down. This decision ultimately contributed to the Raiders’ defeat. McDaniels recently explained his reasoning behind the choice, highlighting the potential strategies and win probabilities involved. Let’s delve deeper into McDaniels’ explanation and analyze the impact of his decision.
Analyzing the Decision
Trailing by eight points with just over two minutes left on the clock, the Raiders faced a fourth-and-4 situation on the Steelers’ 8-yard line. McDaniels opted to send out the field goal team, aiming to reduce the deficit to five points. This would have given the Raiders an opportunity to win the game with a touchdown if they regained possession. Alternatively, going for it on fourth down would have required a successful conversion and subsequent two-point conversion.
ESPN analytics indicate that going for it would have given the Raiders a 15.8% win probability, compared to 10.2% by kicking the field goal. McDaniels’ decision was based on his confidence in the defense’s ability to stop the Steelers and give the Raiders another chance to score.
Unfortunately for the Raiders, their defense was unable to prevent the Steelers from gaining a first down. By the time Las Vegas regained possession, there were only 12 seconds remaining on the clock, and they were on their own 15-yard line. A Jimmy Garoppolo interception sealed their fate, resulting in a 23-18 loss.
McDaniels defended his decision, stating that he believed the team would need another possession regardless. He expressed confidence in the defense’s performance and anticipated having an opportunity to regain possession with two minutes left on the clock, giving them a chance to take the lead.
Garoppolo, who was not available for comment after the game due to a concussion evaluation, played throughout the game despite taking several hard hits and being sacked four times. Running back Josh Jacobs supported McDaniels’ decision, highlighting the defense’s improvement towards the end of the game. Star receiver Davante Adams refrained from second-guessing the decision, emphasizing his role as a receiver rather than a strategist.
Josh McDaniels’ decision to kick a field goal instead of going for it on fourth down in the Raiders’ game against the Steelers has sparked debate and analysis. While analytics favored going for it, McDaniels believed in his defense’s ability to stop the Steelers and provide another opportunity for the offense. Ultimately, the decision did not yield the desired outcome, and the Raiders suffered a defeat. The aftermath of this decision highlights the complexities and uncertainties that coaches face in critical moments of a game.