Oakland Raiders: Bye Week Notes And Observations

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October 11, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack (52) tackles Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (10) during the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Hone That Killer Instinct

The Raiders are for the most part, a young team. They are loaded with talent, but they’re also a team that is still finding themselves, and more importantly, they’re a team still learning how to win.
The Raiders are getting into a bad habit of letting other teams hang around, keep the game close, and over the last few of weeks, that’s come back to bite them.

Against the Ravens, the offense was busy lighting it up, but the defense faltered time and time again, letting Baltimore keep it close and never really putting them away. They were lucky to come out with the win. Ditto that against Cleveland. The offense opened up a bit of a lead, but when the defense faltered a bit, they lost momentum and weren’t able to put the points on the board to put them away either. The same thing can be said about the game against the Bears and the Broncos as well.

The Raiders had opportunities in all of those games. They very realistically could be sitting at 4-1 right now, tied for first place in the AFC West with Denver. But they failed to capitalize on their chances to either blow a game open or hold on to a lead.

Next: Even In Victory, Broncos Fans Find Reason to Whine

The Raiders have all of the pieces in place to be highly competitive this season. The opening week debacle against Cincinnati aside, Oakland won the next two, and was in a position to win the other two. What they lacked was a killer instinct. When they have their foot on somebody’s throat, they need to learn to step down and step down hard.

When they have the chance to close a game out, this Raiders unit must learn to take it. And they have to learn that lesson quickly.