Former Giants LB to coach against old team as interim HC of the Raiders

Las Vegas Raiders linebackers coach Antonio Pierce (Giants)
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are 2-6 and have a rare opportunity to turn their season around with a winnable Week 9 matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders this Sunday. The Raiders are going through trying times, having just fired head coach Josh McDaniels and benching QB Jimmy Garoppolo.

Following the firing of McDaniels, the Raiders promoted linebackers coach Antonio Pierce to interim head coach. Pierce, a former linebacker for the Giants, will face off against his old team this Sunday as he makes his head coaching debut.

The Giants are a familiar opponent for Antonio Pierce

It is fitting Antonio Pierce will coach his first game against Big Blue.

Pierce manned the middle of the Giants’ defense as a starting linebacker from 2005-2009. He was a member of New York’s Super Bowl XLII winning team and played an instrumental role in bringing the franchise’s third Lombardi Trophy home to the Meadowlands.

Following his playing career, Pierce began coaching Long Beach Polytechnic High School (California) in 2014. He then coached at the collegiate level from 2018 to 2021 before joining the Las Vegas Raiders’ coaching staff in 2022.

Pierce has been the Raiders’ linebackers coach since last season and will now serve as the team’s interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

His first game as interim head coach will be this Sunday at home against the traveling Giants.

The Giants open as underdogs against Pierce’s Raiders

At 2-6, the Giants are entering this Week 9 matchup as two-point underdogs, despite the Raiders firing their head coach and general manager mid-week, and starting a rookie quarterback. The 3-5 Raiders are also in desperate need of a win to keep their season afloat — although, after firing their head coach, this season does seem to be a lost cause for Las Vegas.

Big Blue is also seemingly embarking on a rebuild, having just traded away a core defender for a draft haul that will give them plenty of flexibility while building their roster in the future. Regardless of the franchises’ rebuild-mentalities, picking up wins down the final stretch of the season will be crucial.

Pierce will aim to get his interim term off to a good start with a win over his former team; meanwhile, the G-Men will try to rain on Pierce’s parade as QB Daniel Jones returns to the lineup in hopes of turning the season around.

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