The shine was quickly extinguished after a seven-day stretch for the Las Vegas Raiders from a 3-0 start.
Two-digit losses have hampered the Raiders’ promising season since Sunday’s 20-9 loss to the Chicago Bears after resigning over aggressive emails sent by Coach John Gruden several years ago.
“Right now we’re finding our identity and we haven’t found it yet,” Gruden said Monday afternoon.
They have to find it without Gruden after he resigned after releasing the emails he sent before hiring in 2018, which included racist, homophobic and misogynistic remarks.
The team has named special teams coordinator Rich Bisakia as its provisional coach. Bisakia, 61, is a Yonkers native who has been an NFL coach since 2002. The Raiders make their debut when they face AFC Western rivals the Broncos on Sunday afternoon in Denver.
The Raiders appeared to be headed in the right direction after they beat Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Miami, and two overtime came after a 14-point deficit.
But the problems he could overcome in those games proved too much to handle the past two weeks because they lost to the 28-14 Chargers and then the Bears.
The 23-point mark is the second-lowest in the last two weeks, and the Raiders rank last in the NFL with 4.07 yards in those two games. Quarterback Derek Carr has struggled and the running game does not exist behind the linebacker offensive line.
But these are emails made in Gruden. As The Wall Street Journal reported last week, Gruden sent out an email a decade ago that mentions the racism of the face of players’ union leader Demoris Smith.
The team was then given additional emails on Friday, the New York Times reported on Monday, which contained homosexual and misogynistic comments.
Gruden apologizes for “insensitive remarks.” He was still allowed to coach on Sunday but stepped down on Monday.