Raiders coach Antonio Pierce: ‘We didn’t lose the game because of Aidan’

Nov 20, 2023, 2:29 PM

Head coach Antonio Pierce of the Las Vegas Raiders looks on from the sidelines in the game against ...

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 19: Head coach Antonio Pierce of the Las Vegas Raiders looks on from the sidelines in the game against the Miami Dolphins during the fourth quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on November 19, 2023 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Bryan Cereijo/Getty Images)

(Photo by Bryan Cereijo/Getty Images)

Even though the Raiders rookie quarterback threw three interceptions Sunday, interim coach Antonio Pierce wants everyone to know Aidan O’Connell is not the reason the team lost 20-13 to the Dolphins.

All three of O’Connell’s interceptions came in the second half, as the Raiders were able to hold Miami to a one-score game. But Pierce said Monday that his first loss will be a learning experience for everyone, including him.

“I think two halves, right? First half, executing, getting the ball where we want it to, maybe a throw or two here we wish we could have and complete. In the second half, as we know, no need to press there. There was some situations where we were probably pressing. We’ve talked about it. It’s going to be obviously a great learning lesson, not just for Aidan, but for myself and what positions we put him in and how we allow the flow of the game to go and not to have that kind of stress on a young quarterback,” Pierce said.

“So, it’s a team effort, it’s a team’s disappointment as well. It’s not on Aidan, we didn’t lose the game because of Aidan. Let’s get that straight. But Aidan does know he needs to care of the ball, that’s the quarterback’s number one job, and we’ll get better at that.”

The Raiders failed to convert points in the second half, kicking three punts and converting on downs twice. If Las Vegas had opted for field goals instead of going for it on fourth downs, they still would have come up short. And Pierce isn’t coaching to come up short.

“Went there to win. You know, early in the game, you’d probably kick the field goals. Fourth quarter, how many possessions am I going to get? I don’t know. Okay, kick one field goal and go for another one, I still need a touchdown to win,” Pierce said. “Do we keep holding that offense down who was getting three and outs? So, there’s a lot of factors that go into it. But I told my team we’re all in when we went down there. Look, we played to win, and I’ll leave it at that.”

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