After an 0-3 start, pundits and fans on Twitter attacked McDaniels, questioning his ability to coach football.
“Josh McDaniels starting to give off some Sark vibes,” wrote podcaster John Middlekauf, referencing Steve Sarkisian, who has a 53-44 record as a head coach in three short stints at three different major universities. “Hype not matching what we watch. This isn’t politics. Can’t just fake it. Games give us the answer.”
“Josh McDaniels stinks at coaching football,” tweeted Barstool Sports’ Tom Scibelli.
Following the Raiders’ 24-22 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 3, the 0-3 Raiders are in last place in the AFC West and their playoff dreams are almost crushed. Only six teams since 1979 have made the playoffs after an 0-3 start and no team has done it since the Houston Texans in 2018.
There’s plenty of blame to go around for the team’s horrific start, but most of it will fall on McDaniels. He’s been labeled an offensive guru, but the Raiders’ offense has yet to score over 23 points in a game.
“If you aren’t mad at Josh McDaniels rn, you’re mad at the wrong person,” one fan tweeted.
“Josh McDaniels: It’s Josh McDaniels time,” NBC Sports’ Patrick Daugherty tweeted, sharing the low numbers of the Raiders’ leaders in receiving yards, with journeyman receiver Mack Hollins (240) ahead of stars Davante Adams (189) and Darren Waller (151).
Some even went a step further, saying the Raiders need to move on from McDaniels before it’s too late.
“FIRE JOSH MCDANIELS. HELL OF A GAME FOR MACK HOLLINS. AND THAT COULD BE THE SEASON,” tweeted one fan.
“Raiders 0-3. FIRE Josh McDaniels. Today,” wrote another.
“We suck. Fire josh McDaniels,” tweeted a fan.
“#Raiders are the worst team in the NFL. FIRE Josh McDaniels. Season OVER,” tweeted another.
Raiders Won’t Fire McDaniels — Yet
Raiders owner Mark Davis hired McDaniels thinking McDaniels would be able to improve upon last season’s 10-7 regular season and first postseason appearance since 2016. the idea that he’d be able to improve upon last season.
Last year, the team started off 3-0 without stars Davante Adams or Chandler Jones on the roster.
After the loss to the Titans, Davis “had a lengthy closed-door meeting” with McDaniels, according to a tweet from ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez.
The team’s playoff hopes are close to dead, but there’s still a chance for the Raiders to put together a respectable season. So the Raiders aren’t firing McDaniels after just three games. However, it might not be too early to speculate about his long-term job security. According to a September 26 opinion piece in Bleacher Report, McDaniels is one of six coaches already on the hot seat.
“It has not taken long for the shine to wear off the Josh McDaniels hiring in Las Vegas,” B/R’s Alex Ballentine wrote, saying McDaniels was supposed to be an “instant hit.” “It’s too early to come to any conclusions, but 0-5 is a real possibility for the Raiders and that’s only going to feed the frustration with the new head coach.”
McDaniels Addresses Titans Loss
McDaniels is just as unhappy about his team’s 0-3 start as anybody. He didn’t leave the Patriots just to flop as a head coach again. If he fails with the Raiders, it’s hard to imagine he’ll get another head coaching opportunity in the NFL. McDaniels spoke about the loss following the game.
“Losing gets old fast. We have to learn how to start well, play well in the middle and finish well. Right now, we haven’t figured out that formula, yet,” McDaniels said.
McDaniels has been talking about how the team needs to learn through the first three weeks. Based on their performances, it appears they haven’t learned much quite yet.