It took four games, and it came against the Cleveland Browns, but Jon Gruden’s Oakland Raiders finally picked up a win.
Last year, the Oakland Raiders dealt with some key injuries, and ultimately stumbled to a disappointing 6-10 campaign just a year after qualifying for the playoffs.
The Raiders were in need of a bounce back season this year, and thus decided to make a pretty big coaching change. They brought back Jon Gruden, who had previously coached the Raiders from 1998 through 2001, to help them get the job done.
When they made the deal to bring the former Monday Night Football analyst back to the sidelines, they probably didn’t imagine that it would take Gruden until Week 4 to finally get his first win. They probably also didn’t imagine the Raiders would have to scratch and claw their way to an overtime victory against a team that just recently won its first game in almost two years in order to finally get that first win.
But yet, that’s where we are with the 2018 Oakland Raiders. Through four weeks on the job, Gruden’s team sits at a subpar 1-3. And that’s only after his Raiders barely squeaked out a 45-42 win over the Cleveland Browns.
At one point, Oakland trailed 28-14. It appeared as if Baker Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft, was going to waltz right to a victory in his first ever NFL start. But thanks to a 437-yard passing performance by Oakland quarterback Derek Carr, who also threw four touchdown passes, the Raiders were able to climb back into the game and even it up.
They forced overtime when Carr tossed a successful two-point conversion with 30 seconds left in regulation. As the game neared the end of the overtime period, Matt McGrane drilled a 29-yard field goal to seal the win for the Raiders.
At last, Gruden finally picked up a win. But the 1-3 Raiders still have a long way to go to catch up to the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs, who will go for 4-0 against the Denver Broncos tomorrow night.
Who knows? Had Gruden not traded away Khalil Mack — arguably the best defensive player in the NFL — before the season started, the Raiders might be finding themselves in a more enjoyable spot right now.