Raiders coach Josh McDaniels faced a decision on fourth-and-4 from the Steelers’ 8-yard line with just over two minutes remaining in Sunday night’s game.
The Steelers led 23-15 and the Raiders had all three timeouts, so the Raiders had the option of kicking a field goal or going for a touchdown. McDaniels elected to punt and cut Pittsburgh’s lead to five points in hopes that their defense would get the ball back quickly.
That didn’t happen as the Steelers turned the ball over on first down and then punted the ball to the Raiders three more plays later. The Raiders took over with 12 seconds to go from their own 15-yard line and Jimmy Garoppolo threw an interception on the next play. After the game, McDaniels was asked if the field goal attempt was a sign of his lack of confidence on offense.
“You’re going to Need another possession Anyway, you know what I mean? “So, it’s not a lack of confidence,” McDaniels said, via Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com. . . . I don’t know, I mean we kicked one earlier in this sequence. . . And then we were lucky enough to get a penalty on that field goal and then we got there. I mean, it is what it is. Like I said, you can go either way, and I had confidence that we were playing well enough defensively that we would have a chance to get the ball back with two minutes to go and have a chance to go out there and take the drive.”
McDaniels’ penalty call came on a punt field goal with 3:15 left that the Raiders took off the board after a holding penalty on the Steelers. Considered by ESPN Analytics Toss to kick or go for the first down at that point and various models have said the Raiders have a better chance of winning if they do that rather than kick the second time.
The Raiders went the other way and are 1-2 this morning.
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