Raiders fire defensive coordinator Paul Guenther
After a devastating loss to the Indianapolis Colts, the Las Vegas Raiders parted ways with defensive coordinator Paul Guenther.
The Las Vegas Raiders defeated the winless New York Jets by the skin of their teeth last week, and it was no thanks to their defensive effort. The Raiders, who were sitting just outside playoff contention, needed to pick up a win over the Indianapolis Colts to keep up with the Miami Dolphins for the seventh-seed. Instead, they fell 44-27, forcing them to fall to 7-6 on the season.
After the loss, the Raiders decided that a move needed to be made. That move was the firing of defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. Defensive line coach Rod Marinelli will take over for Guenther in a interim role for the remainder of the season.
Raiders defense has been bad all season
In Sunday’s loss, Guenther’s squad surrendered a total of 456 total yards, 212 of which came on the run. Most of the damage came from rookie running back Johnathan Taylor, who rushed for 150 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.
Once head coach Jon Gruden left the Monday Night Football booth to sign a 10-year deal with the Raiders, he brought on Guenther as his defensive coordinator. Guenther’s first two seasons were rather underwhelming, but that can be credited to the young players thrusted into the starting lineup. This season was supposed to be the year where the Raiders defense finally progressed. That didn’t happen.
Prior to the Colts game, Guenther’s defense surrendered an average of 378.2 yards of total offense, 257.1 passing yards ,121.1 rushing yards and 28.8 points per game. Perhaps the most damning thing about the Raiders is that they tallied a grand total of 15 sacks through 13 games, with defensive end Maxx Crosby recording six of them.
The Raiders, who are in a position where they need to win out to clinch a playoff berth, felt that letting Guenther go could help them in the team’s final three-week stretch. It will remain to be seen if Marinelli can actually help the defensive unit improve.