Over the final six weeks of the season, the Oakland Raiders boasted a record of .500, winning every other game in that span. After going more than 16 games without a win, many Raiders fans have had a much more positive view of the team. So much so that there has been a lot of talk about whether interim head coach Tony Sparano should be given the permanent head coaching job.
It’s fitting then, that the Raiders were blown out in their final game of the season.
The team followed each of its three wins with bad losses. The Raiders defeated the Chiefs only to lose 52-0 to the Rams. After beating the 49ers, they suffer a 31-13 defeat in Kansas City. Then they beat the Bills, only end their season with a 47-14 loss to the Broncos.
It’s great that the team was able to put some tallies in the win column, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Oakland’s roster is still a long way from anything approaching high quality, and the coaching staff is still a long way from being something to get excited about. Sparano has done an admirable job and the players seem to like him, but that’s not enough to be hired or kept on as a head coach. Sparano oversaw one of the worst losses in Raiders history, and was unable to secure a road victory.
After three years of breaking the team down and rebuilding it, the Raiders finished with fewer wins in 2014 than either of the previous two seasons. Continuity is a great thing, but the Raiders need to take this opportunity to upgrade the head coaching position. With heads already rolling on Black Monday, the Raiders will have more options for the position than they did when Dennis Allen was hired. They would be wise to exercise one of those options rather than settling for Sparano and crew.