OAKLAND, Calif. - The last six weeks, Bay Area football talk has been dominated by the 49ers and the Jimmy G phenomenon. But, on Sunday, the Raiders made a move that is almost as significant as the 49ers October trade.
As I wrote back in November, the Raiders needed to make changes in order to take the next step.
You never want to root for somebody to get fired, but as Jack Del Rio said in his post game press conference... the NFL is a results business. And his results this season were beyond disappointing.
The Raiders were far too talented to struggle the way they did. And, if Mark Davis is successful in hiring Jon Gruden (at this time, there's no reason to think otherwise), the ship could be righted almost overnight.
In Gruden, they Raiders are getting what they need. An offensive-minded head coach to maximize the talent they have on that side of the ball.
Down in Santa Clara, the 49ers are thrilled. They finished the season by beating three playoff teams (even though the Rams rested all their important pieces), and Jimmy Garoppolo looks like he is going to be great.
The hardest thing to do in the NFL is find a quarterback. The 49ers already did that. This off-season will be about Lynch and Shanahan spending some of their (projected) $100m+ in cap space and their draft picks to surround Garoppolo with more talent.
Despite the disappointing 2017 season for the Raiders... Both they and the 49ers have their arrows pointing firmly upwards as they enter the off-season. For the first time in a long time, both the Raiders and 49ers could be very good at the same time in 2018.