Sunday feels like a bigger game for Jon Gruden than it does the Raiders

Whether Jon Gruden likes it or not, Sunday’s game against the Bears already has the feel of a playoff game.

It’s only week five and the Raiders (2-2) don’t need a win that bad, but Gruden has to understand the importance of his first game against Khalil Mack since the trade that, so far, has defined Gruden’s second stint in Oakland.

Gruden isn’t stupid. He’s aware of what the Mack trade looks like now. He’d probably give three first-round picks to bring Mack back. And fair or not, Sunday’s game against the Bears is going to hang over Gruden for a while. Beating the Bears would send a strong message to the team (and fans) that Gruden is capable of what he was hired to do. Losing to the Bears, especially without their starting quarterback, would stir up a conversation that Gruden would love to someday put to rest.

Beyond the personnel moves, Gruden was paid $100 million with the understanding that he could bring Derek Carr and the offense back to their 2016 form – something Gruden essentially acknowledged when he was hired. What better opportunity to showcase 20 months of working with Carr than to beat the Bears this week? Alternatively, it would be hard to imagine a worse public relations hit for Gruden than to watch the Bears win and embarrass his offense.

It’s rare that a week five game feels this important, but given the criticisms of Gruden since he hired, Sunday will offer a perfect opportunity to quiet the critics… or gain a whole lot more.

twitter: @raidersbeat

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Sunday feels like a bigger game for Jon Gruden than it does the Raiders

  1. At this point I believe the Bears have a better team than the Raiders, even if they didn’t have Mack. It would be a miracle if we win this game, but I do hope some why we can pull it out. GO RAIDERS!!!!!!!!!

  2. I’ve put more effort into shits than you did writing this article. No substance, no information, no insight, pure OP-ed filler click-bait. Do better.

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