No. 3: Is Jon Gruden secretly regretting the Khalil Mack trade?
The Broncos offense had the last meaningful possession of the game. They had to drive down from their 20-yard line to get into field-goal range to go for the win in the final two minutes. This is where a pass-rusher is most deadly, since a two-minute offense is mainly dropping back to pass.
The Broncos easily drove down the field and got into range for the game winner.
Broncos quarterback Case Keenum was hardly touched due to a lack of a pass rush. That final drive of the Broncos is where now-Chicago Bears EDGE Khalil Mack would’ve came in to save the day. The Raiders were so desperate for a pass rush that defensive coordinator Paul Guenther went out of character. He was dialing up blitz after blitz with each one coming from a different level of the defense. None of them had much effect.
In his post-game presser, Gruden was asked about the pass rush. One of his replies was “We’ve got to do something.”
Well that obviously wasn’t the case a few weeks ago, since Mack was under the Raiders’ control. In another presser the following day, Gruden said that he has no regrets about the trade, but does he really mean it? He had to have been thinking after the game that, if Mack is in that game, they would’ve won.
If not Gruden, then what about the players? Certainly there are some who are thinking about that. I know this is pretty much beating a dead horse by bringing up Mack, but that’s what happens when the biggest trade in the NFL occurs. There is no “getting over it” with this.
At least not for the next two seasons when those first-round NFL Draft picks are cashed in. Until then, Mack’s name is going to continue to be brought up.