MIAMI, Fla.--The Las Vegas Raiders (5-6) came into this game with the proverbial puncher's chance to win, and against the NFL's best offense, they lost 20-13 to the Miami Dolphins (8-3).
After the game, Las Vegas Raiders Coach Antonio Pierce addressed the media about the contest.
You can watch the entire podcast above, and read the transcript below.
Las Vegas Raiders Head Coach Antonio Pierce
Q. Miami Dolphins Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio is one of the best in the business and he did some things today that he has not done before with a rookie quarterback that hasn't had a whole year to prepare. I know there are no excuses and I'm not trying to make any but it's also reality, is it not? ANTONIO PIERCE: Yeah, they’re a learning lesson for all of us, and I start with AP, right? Learning lesson for me, for Bo (Hardegree), for Aidan (O’Connell). We’ve got to do a better job matching the game, and not put them in those situations where Aidan has to win the game and that starts with me.
Q. Any positives to take away from a loss like this for a young team, a young quarterback? A young coach? ANTONIO PIERCE: I think offensively we have a lot of things to look at, and we'll do that. For our team, I think we fought. I don't know, 20 points. Defense battled. Special teams played well. We won a play or two back here and there and again on offense. You’re talking about a game of inches, maybe a yard or two on some throws that are explosives for us, and we just didn't make it. At the end of the game, we're in plus territory with a chance to tie it up, maybe win it, and we didn't get it done.
Q. Plus territory late in the first half, had a couple of timeouts, didn't push towards the end zone. Can you walk us through the mindset at the end of the first half and why weren't you more aggressive? ANTONIO PIERCE: Yeah, just want to kind of protect the young quarterback. We want to get points on the board if we have that opportunity. Didn't want to have anything happen that could be a negative for us. I just felt it was in our best interest going into halftime. Kind of the game we wanted, we wanted to be ugly and gritty a little bit. That's where it was getting to, and I felt we were in a good place at that time.
Q. Had a hard time getting the running game going. What did you see as far as that aspect of it? ANTONIO PIERCE: They did a good job, a lot of movement up front. A little bit of different looks here and there, not much, but just enough to throw us off. And then we just, we're always – we were behind the sticks. We were behind the sticks and that made it difficult. We'll get back to it. We'll go to the drawing board and get -- got to get ‘JJ’ (Josh Jacobs) going. In the first two wins, 25-plus touches. 14 – whatever it was, not good enough.
Q. Is it harder to run QB Aidan O’Connell, I imagine? ANTONIO PIERCE: Without a question, we don't want to be the opposite. We don't want to have 40- plus throws and 20 runs. That's not our kind of football.
Q. What was your overall assessment of QB Aidan O'Connell's play? ANTONIO PIERCE: We got to look at it. Before I make that statement, I think we’ve got to look at it. One thing, we just got to do a good job with the football. Got to do a good job with the football, and again, that starts with the coaches, prepping him, getting him ready, making him understand situational football. But again, young player, we'll get better and we got to go back to the drawing boards.
Q. The defense forcing those turnovers, the fourth-and-1 they're inside the 5-yard line, the crucial moments there. ANTONIO PIERCE: I thought the defense – at times you were wondering some explosive plays going down there. It seemed like every time we got to the fringe, those guys kind of tightened up a little bit. Guys stood up and sound football, turnovers, whatever it may be, more physical up front. I thought they did a good job, especially in the first half. There's some opportunities like, ‘OK.’ He went for it, we had to stop on fourth down. Coming out at the half, interception – giving ourselves an opportunity to have a chance to win.
Q. We saw some missed throws. That one the last drive, the second play, WR Davante Adams on the other side. Did you think you had that one or is that a play you're look at as one you may have missed? ANTONIO PIERCE: Yeah, I think there's a few plays out there that everybody saw that we missed, and you can't take them back. They're out there. We got to do a better job connecting, obviously. The ball didn't bounce our way today on those.
Q. I mentioned earlier, no moral victories and I get that in the National Football League, but the pride of your guys, the fight that you saw down double digit, can you just talk about that for a moment, please? ANTONIO PIERCE: Yeah, that's what we talk about every day. Pride and poise, passion, respect for the game, playing the game the right way and guys did it. They played hard. We played hard. Does that get you Ws? No, but it gives you a chance to win games, and that's what I think we did. We gave ourselves an opportunity to win the game, under a minute, plus territory. And again didn’t – there is no moral victories. Guys are looking, I told them keep their chins up. We're going to be the same way win, lose, or draw. We'll go back to work on Tuesday and get after it.
The Silver and Black will return home next week to celebrate Thanksgiving and take on their AFC West Rival, the Kansas City Chiefs, on Sunday, November 26, at 4:25 p.m. EST/1:25 p.m. PST.
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