Should Rich Bisaccia Be The Coach Of The Year?

January 10, 2022

After all the craziness of the 2021 season, the Raiders pushed through and beat the Chargers. They shut up all the haters, the doubters, and the ‘analysts.’ Because, for the first time since 2016, the Raiders are in the playoffs.

This Raiders team is the first in sixty years to make the playoffs after a mid-season head coaching change. This begs the question. Should Rich Bisaccia be voted Coach of the Year?

Raiders Under Bisaccia

When Bisaccia took the reins of head coach for the Raiders, the team was sitting at 3-2 and had been the NFL’s media punching bag for weeks prior due to emails sent by former head coach Jon Gruden.

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Bisaccia’s first game as a head coach came against division rival Denver Broncos. After dropping two in a row, the Raiders looked to be on cracking under pressure. Rather than give in to the pressure from the outside media, the team rallied behind their new head coach and beat the Broncos 34-24. They would then go to Philadelphia and knock off an Eagles team still settling under their new quarterback.

Then during the bye week, Henry Ruggs has his tragic car accident. It resulted in the loss of life and a DUI charge. As if the season hadn’t been wild enough, the Raiders then number one receiver made the biggest mistake of his life and resulted in the loss of life. Bisaccia not only had to come in after Gruden’s situation but had to settle the team after this too. But that’s not the end of this roller coaster of a season. Two weeks later, cornerback Damon Arnette threatens to kill somebody and flashes a gun on Instagram live, resulting in his release.

At that point, the Raiders were sitting at a 5-3 record and had just lost two young talents. Then the team would drop the next two against the Chiefs and Bengals (5-5).


After all the madness of the season, Bisaccia has been able to bring the Raiders back together and win. Very few people outside of Raider Nation expected to see this team where it is now. Especially after everything that has happened. They wouldn’t be here without coaching.

I don’t think Gruden would have this team where it is.

Before anybody calls me crazy, these last few seasons, the Raiders have collapsed and stayed down till it was too late. Sure the rosters weren’t as good as this year. But these last teams didn’t have to deal with what Bisaccia has. Nor did they recover the way this team has.

After week eleven (5-5), the Raiders went 5-2. Four of those wins were against possible playoff teams (Browns, Colts, Chargers, and Cowboys).

If bringing this team back from the brink of mediocrity again isn’t enough for votes for Coach of the Year, I don’t know what would.

Why Not _____ For COTY?

Why would Bisaccia win COTY over a coach like Zac Taylor (CIN), Matt Lafleur (GB), or Bill Belichick (NE)?

Zac Taylor and the Bengals have had an outstanding season, don’t get me wrong, but they have the same record as a Raiders team that has had to fight through adversity and the loss of starters. Not to mention it’s the same record in a much weaker division.

Matt Lafleur is coaching Green Bay. Who didn’t expect to see the Packers in the playoffs? Or atop the NFC? Nobody. The Packers are always dominant in the regular season, win a game or two in the playoffs, then fall short. If Lafleur gets them to the Super Bowl, give him the award. But until then, the team just did what was expected.

As for Bill Belichick, he could be in the running every season. Belichick is almost undoubtedly the best NFL head coach of all time. But similar to the situation in Cincinnati, he coaches a team in a weaker division. On top of that, out of the Patriots’ ten wins, only two came against teams now in the playoffs. Half of their wins were against teams that ended under .500. So sure, his team may have exceeded expectations, but they didn’t win against great teams.

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