After watching his Raiders get blown out by the Titans this past Sunday – Oakland’s third straight defeat – head coach Jon Gruden predicted heads would roll. Gruden said his team’s recent play was “sickening,” and promised changes.
“(Changes) are tough,” Gruden told reporters, “but it’s a necessary evil. Right now, we’ve got to play better and we’re going to play better, and there will be changes.”
Those changes occurred Tuesday, when the Raiders cut three defensive players.
Safety D.J. Swearinger, linebacker Preston Brown and tackle Terrell McClain were also released, paying the price for Oakland’s disastrous 42-21 loss to the Titans – in a game that was tied at halftime.
All three players were signed during the season as replacements for injured or under-performing players. Brown played in just one game and Swearinger saw extensive action in four, while McClain didn’t even play against Tennessee. Still, the Raiders have rejected them to get younger players into the lineup this Sunday, when Oakland plays host to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
With three straight losses to fall to 6-7, the Raiders must beat the Jags and get wins in their final two games on the road, against the Chargers and Broncos, to have any chance at qualifying for the playoffs. Even with three straight wins, the Raiders will need a lot of bad luck for teams above them to get in.
Said Gruden: “We’ve got to play better and we’re going to play better.”
Sunday’s game against the Jaguars will be the Raiders’ final home game in Oakland before the franchise departs for Las Vegas for the 2020 season. Kickoff is set for 1:05 p.m.