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The Raiders kicked the most cowardly field goal of NFL Week 3, and fans still can’t believe it

Josh McDaniels’ brainless field goal decision cost the Raiders in Week 3.

The Las Vegas Raiders were starting to mount a fourth quarter comeback against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 3 when head coach Josh McDaniels faced a critical fourth down decision late in the game.

The Raiders had the ball inside the Steelers’ 10-yard-line staring at a fourth-and-four with 2:25 remaining in regulation in a game they trailed 23-15. Las Vegas needed a touchdown and the two-point conversion for the tie. For some reason, McDaniels elected to kick a field goal instead.

The Steelers beat the Raiders, 23-18, after Las Vegas’ final drive came up woefully short. The Raiders would never get a good luck at the end zone again. A day later, everyone is still trying to figure out why McDaniels decided to kick this field goal instead of going for it on fourth down.

Kicking the field goal was an incredibly confusing decision by McDaniels considering the Raiders still needed a touchdown to win the game. Narrator: the Raiders did not score a touchdown.

Las Vegas had all three timeouts when kicked the field goal. They needed a three-and-out to have any chance of getting the ball back with enough time to win, and they didn’t get it. Steelers QB Kenny Pickett picked up a key third-and-2 just before the two-minute warning. The Raiders would eventually force a punt, but by the time they got the ball back there was only 15 seconds left and needed to go 85 yards for the score. Instead, the Steelers sealed the win with an interception:

Las Vegas fell to 1-2 with the loss. After a 6-11 season in McDaniels’ first year as head coach, losing a game like this will again ignite speculation about his long-term future in the organization.

The Raiders are the only team in NFL history to kick a field goal in that exact situation: down eight points at the end of the game and less than five yards away from a new set of downs. It’s even more embarrassing for Las Vegas given how close they were to the end zone.

McDaniels explained his decision to kick the field goal after the game. He wasn’t very convincing.

Fans watching the game on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter couldn’t believe the Raiders didn’t go for it.

Life is too short to kick field goals inside the 10 when you’re down eight at the end of the game. NFL head coaches are still way more risk averse than the general public would like, and McDaniels proved it once again.