It is easy enough to blame Chuck Bresnahan for the Raiders second half collapses this season. He was never Hue Jackson’s guy and his performance this season means there will likely be turnover in that area unless the Raiders defense turns into the 1985 Bears the last two weeks and the team squeaks into the playoffs and continues to dominate defensively. That’s not going to happen.
Jackson will likely get a pass for his rookie season. Dealing with the loss of legendary owner Al Davis and assuming the General Manager duties, losing his starting quarterback, his star running back, and having some of his best players miss time will all be excuses to give Hue Jackson another chance. That’s probably how it should be, that’s a lot to bite off for any first time head coach. Add to it the Jackson-created hype and expectations and you have a dangerous mix that has a segment of the Raider Nation upset.
Playing the blame game
Let’s take a look at the two phases of the game. Let’s assume Jackson is responsible for the offense and Bresnahan the defense and see how many of the seven losses are on Jackson and how many are on Bresnahan.
Week 2: 35-38 Loss to the Bills
Raiders scored 35 points and 14 in the 4th quarter. The Raiders defense allowed 35 points in the second half and 21 in the final quarter.
Week 4: 19-31 Loss to the Patriots
The Raiders couldn’t score more than 19 on the terrible Patriots defense at home. The defense couldn’t stop the Patriots offense.
Week 7: 0-28 Loss to the Chiefs
The Raiders scored no points. Kyle Boller and Carson Palmer combined for six interceptions. Hue didn’t have enough confidence in his backup quarterback that he had to give up a King’s ransom to bring in Carson Palmer. The defense was at a huge disadvantage when the offense throws so many interceptions.
Week 9: 24-38 Loss to the Broncos
The Raiders couldn’t stop Tim Tebow and the Broncos read-option offense. The offense cobbled together 24 points and a 17-7 halftime lead only for the defense to give up 31 in the second half and 14 in the 4th quarter that put the Raiders away.
Week 13: 14-34 Loss to the Dolphins
The Raiders didn’t score until the Dolphins had a 34-point lead. Garbage time touchdowns do not equal good offense. 46 yards rushing and all the passing yards came in garbage time. The defense did allow 200+ rushing, but the defense was playing decently until giving up 21 points in the 3rd quarter. It wasn’t a good performance by the defense, but the offense didn’t score until the 4th. That’s not good enough.
Week 14: 16-46 Loss to the Packers
The Raiders didn’t score in the first half, perhaps they didn’t because the defense couldn’t make s top of the Packers.
Week 15: 27-28 Loss to the Lions
The offense scored 20 and the defense scored 7. Take the defensive score away and the score is 20-14 Raiders prior to the two easy touchdown drives for the Lions that won them the game.
It was a close game and the offense and defense had opportunities to put the game on ice and neither could do it.
That puts the blame share at 3.5 losses each for Jackson and Bresnahan. The offense has scored 22.6 points per game and the defense has allowed 27.3 and that’s ultimately what will get Bresnahan fired and save Hue Jackson, but Bresnahan is just a scapegoat. Half the losses are easily attributable to the offensive struggles and Hue Jackson deserves a little more heat for his share in the woes of this team. It’s not as simple as plugging a new defensive coordinator in and erasing the problems that have plagued the Raiders in their 7 losses.