Any true Raider fan knows exactly where this team stands going into the bye. The big question is where do the raiders go from here. Oakland comes off the bye, and crashes directly into an undefeated Atlanta Falcons team on their home turf, but after Atlanta the Raiders have a window of very beatable teams. Even if Atlanta drops Oakland to 1-4 the Raiders have the potential to go on a three game run against Jacksonville, K.C, and Tampa. All three teams are teams Oakland not only can beat , but should beat if they can keep it together, and possibly head into Baltimore at 4-4, followed by a winless New Orleans team the week after that. The window is open to be 5-5 heading into the home stretch if Oakland gets it together for week 6.The question is will the Raiders be aggressive in pursuit of the help we need, and pull the plug on the second Knapp experiment in time to right the ship, or simply ride out the clock then sign the team over to the new L.A. stadium group,claiming they tried to make it work in Oakland.
There are lots of people clamouring for a QB change, but honestly Carson Palmer has been a soldier, any hope this team has going forward revolves around protecting him, and changing the play calling up to put Darren McFadden in a position to carry some of this burden on his ready shoulders. The offensive line has been horrible, we drafted Bergstrom with the intention of plugging him in between Wisniewski and Veldhere, and its probably a move thats past due. Allowing Carslile to return to his RG spot where he is most at home using the bye week to realign things up front. They couldn't possibly do any worse than the line up that started the season.
Knapp needs to be relieved of his play calling duties immediately, just like he was under Cable. Oakland has an experienced and able play caller on the staff, named Al Sauders, who has the experience and creativity to take advantage of his players talent. Saunders enables Oakland to change play callers during the bye without having to change the terminology.Hopefully a change in play callers and a shuffling of Line personnel would be enough to turn things around on offense.
Though the Defensive front seven were run ragged against Denver, it didn't start that way. Seymour and the boys were actually showing some grit before the offense failed to put anything resembling a drive together the entire second half, leaving Oakland's big men on the field for virtually the entire second half. You could have the AFC pro bowl defense on your team, but if you leave them on the field for 25 minutes of the second half, against a no huddle offense, in the the thin Mile High air, the result would be the same.
The secondary however is a different matter. Oakland had to know moving Huff to corner would mean increased playing time for Giordano and Mitchell, which for a player like Mannning is like fishing in a barrel. For some reason the front office has refused to address the corner position for two years in a row, and were content to enter the 2012 season with the oft injured Spencer , and Bartell who though tenacious and dedicated, physically cannot cash the checks his heart keeps writing for him. Mc Kenzie had to know heading in there needed to be depth behind the two starters, but neglected to address it on draft day, and seems to prefers dumpster diving in Green Bay rather than getting serious about finding a solution. Never the less if Bartell and Spencer can go after the bye, one trade or signing for depth may go along way toward finnishing strong.
The season is not over if the Oakland brain trust puts it's head together and gets the job done.