Raiders HC Jon Gruden Has Developed a Disturbing Trend in His Coaching Career at Closing Out Seasons

If you’ve followed along here for long, it’s been well-documented that one of the most pressing areas of self-examination Jon Gruden needs to make is the matter of slow second-half starts.

For whatever reason, it’s been an unfortunate trademark of Gruden’s second tenure with the Raiders. The team comes out slow in the second half, especially on offense, almost week in and week out. It’s been one of the great mysteries following the Raiders over the past two seasons.

As it turns out, Gruden has historically dealt with the same problem from a season-long standpoint. Gruden-coached teams, going back more than two decades, have mostly finished seasons in a tailspin. In 13 years as a head coach, Gruden has closed out the final six games of a season with a winning record only twice. He has a 30-48 record in those games. Interestingly, his career record in games prior to the final six is 81-58.

Graphic courtesy: @squib09

It’s a disappointing trend on Gruden’s part and whether it is coincidence or not, it does seem that Gruden’s teams tend to wear down in both the second half of games and the second half of seasons.

One theory is that the trend might involve the intense mental strain Gruden puts on his players, but it’s worth noting that his teams do tend to start out strong. To build trends like this for so many years, it’s something that Gruden should be willing to take a look at. If he’s anxious to examine why his team can’t win in cold weather, he should be just as determined to figure out why his teams have trouble closing out games and seasons.

twitter: @raidersbeat