Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels explains field goal down eight with 2:22 to go: ‘You’re going to need another possession anyway’
Down eight with 2:22 seconds to go, Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels went for three.
Not long after, the Raiders lost to the Pittsburgh Steeler by five, 23-18, and the math added up to a 1-2 start to the Silver and Black’s season.
It was a confounding decision — even more so considering McDaniels made the choice to go for a field goal twice on his team’s penultimate possession. He stood by his call, however.
“You have two choices there,” McDaniels said. “You try to make it a five-point game where you have an opportunity to win it with a touchdown if you get the ball back. Or you try to go for it there, and if you happen to convert you have to make the two-point conversion, all the rest of it. So, those are the decisions you’ve got to make. I thought we did a decent job putting ourselves in third down there the next series with the defense to try to have a play to get off the field, and we just didn’t handle that play very well.”
As it played out, Daniel Carlson‘s 26-yard field goal trimmed the Raiders’ deficit to the final score with 2:22 to play. However, while McDaniels’ decision cut the deficit, it also cut the Raiders’ win probability by 5.4%, per Next Gen Stats. Had Las Vegas rolled the dice on fourth down, its win probability was 13.9% in comparison to 8.5% kicking a field goal. Odds are big in Vegas, but McDaniels didn’t see it that way.