Heading into their bye week this weekend, the Oakland Raiders sit at 2-4 on the season. They could very easily be 3-3, or better.
A week one 21-17 loss to Indianapolis, coupled with a few other games – including their last against Kansas City – got away late as the Raiders were unable to maintain.
This is to be expected for a young team with an essentially rookie quarterback in Terrelle Pryor that is learning to win in the NFL.
It’s safe to say that the culture has changed in Oakland, however. From head coach Dennis Allen, to general manager Reggie McKenzie, to offensive coordinator Greg Olson and beyond, the Raiders expect to win and are making progress towards becoming a relevant postseason contender.
“I’m surprised our record isn’t better,” free safety Charles Woodson said, according to CSNBayArea.com’s Scott Bair. “I feel like we’ve had chances to win games, yet here we sit at 2-4. Our record is what it is, but we were in position to win a couple games that we lost.”
Coach Allen spoke about what his team needs to do to acquire those killer instincts.
“What we’ve got to do is learn how to, in those tough situations, in those critical moments, we have to learn how to train our minds to make those plays and take advantage of those opportunities that we have, so that we can win games,” Allen said. “I think our guys are of the mindset that we’re going to be able to get that done.
“Our guys have confidence that we can win football games. I told the guys yesterday, we’ve got a good team in there.”
Oakland comes out of the bye week with games against Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, the New York Giants, Houston, and Tennessee – all winnable games for the young team looking to get back in the fold.
While the AFC West currently has two undefeated teams and New England sits at 5-1 in the East, the rest of the AFC is within no more than two games. Playoffs, while likely a longshot, are not yet out of the question for Oakland.
If the Raiders can learn, anything is possible, right?