Jan 10, 2012; Alameda, CA, USA; General view of the Oakland Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

What Must the Oakland Raiders do to Turn Around Their Season

Sep 30, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer (3) is pressured by Denver Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil (92) at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Raiders 37-6. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

The Oakland Raiders are 1-3 and share a seat with the Kansas City Chiefs on the floor of the AFC West. A team that had once been deemed a bully is looking more like Bad Luck Brian every Sunday. NFL.com’s power rankings leave the silver and black looking black and blue at number 31 on their list. The Raiders have been torn apart by the rival Broncos and couldn’t even handle long snaps against the rival Chargers. What happened to the new regime under Reggie? Why cant the Raiders play defense? When will Greg Knapp start reading JBB and just volunteer to leave Oakland for good?

This season has been filled with questions that need to be answered. Most importantly is how will the Raiders turn this season around. It would be too easy to just continue playing at the level the Raiders are competing at and seal a high draft pick. However, Raider Nation has seen that kind of season before and it isn’t exactly the way one would like to usher in a new era. The season is only 5 weeks old and the AFC West is still as unpredictable as an episode of Lost. Reggie McKenzie and co. are surely thinking of the same question and how they can salvage the season.

Of course the most glaring problem Dennis Allen has been dealing with is the lack of a secondary. Unfortunately without the funds to supply Dennis Allen with a real NFL starting secondary the Raiders must make due with what they have (personally i suggest calling Gene Hackman and Keanu Reeves). So the fate of Oakland’s 2012 season lies within the hands of unknowns such as Pat Lee and Joselio Hanson. Their commitment to excellence will truly be tested Sunday against Julio Jones and Roddy White. The self proclaimed best wide receiver duo in the NFL today will be looking to set records against the depleted squad.

With the help of the secondary the offense will have to hold up their end of the bargain. The simple fact is that the defense is weak. Even with a better secondary the defensive line and linebacking corps haven’t exactly been stellar. Despite all the defensive flaws a deadly offense can still win games. Carson Palmer must be able to bring back an offense capable of dropping forty burgers. Al Saunders must be in Greg Knapp’s ear constantly during games suggesting reverses, wildcats, and other treats from Hue Jackson’s leftover big bag of tricks. With a healthy Darren McFadden running behind (hopefully) a smarter Stefen Wisnewski this offense could cause severe damage to weak defenses.

The season looks bleak. Every Sunday the distance between the Raiders and the top of the AFC West seems to get further away. The hope that Carson Palmer pumped into all of Raider Nation with his playoff prediction has been dimmed like a light. A light that still flickers ever so dimly for the first half of every Raider game on Sundays.

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