For most teams, the bye week is an advantage. It gives the team two weeks to prepare for their next opponent while the other team has just one. But for over ten years, that has not worked in the Raiders' favor.
As ESPN's Paul Gutierrez pointed out on Twitter, the futility has lasted as long as the Raiders team futility has.
FWIW, #Raiders have lost their last 10 post-bye games by a combined score of 271-139.— Paul Gutierrez (@PGutierrezESPN) October 21, 2013
The Raiders have not had a winning season since 2002 which was also the season they went to the Super Bowl. The post bye week loss has come to be a symbol of their losing ways. Even in the two seasons the team went 8-8, they still managed to lose after the bye week.
It is not unlike a team which comes out in the third quarter unprepared - a big problem the Raiders have also had. It's a lack of preparedness. One that Dennis Allen doesn't see affecting his current squad.
"I think we're all aware of that," said Allen. "But like I told the players today, the past has no relevance to the future. Any of the outcomes in a game after a bye in the past won't dictate how we go out and play against Pittsburgh. What's going to dictate how we go out and play against Pittsburgh is how well we prepare during the week and do we go out and execute that plan on Sunday.
"I think we had a good plan in the bye. I think we got some guys freshened up a little bit and now the key is we gotta focus on the preparation. We gotta do the things that are necessary to go out and play well on Sunday."
Symbols or not, winning after the bye week will be critical. It will mean the difference between being three games under .500 and one game under heading into the second half of the season.