Oakland Raiders Film Room: Bye Week Recap

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October 6, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders free safety Charles Woodson (24) celebrates after intercepting the ball against the San Diego Chargers during the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Chargers 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders have had a tough first four weeks of the season. Tough enough to end Dennis Allen’s tenure as Oakland’s head coach and tough enough to cast serious doubt that GM Reggie McKenzie will be around next season (if he even makes it that far). Despite a renewed roster, (including the exact top 2 draft picks they wanted in Khalil Mack and Derek Carr) Oakland finds themselves with a big fat donut in the win at the quarter mark of the season. They’re at the bottom of the league in total touchdowns scored (6), points per game (12.8), and yards per game (270). Advanced stats lovers will find that Football Outsiders has Oakland ranked 30th overall in DVOA, and Pro Football Focus (subscription required) ranks Oakland 25th in offense (-39.1) and 20th in defense (-10.4).

While most play has been subpar there have been some bright spots. Rookie LB Khalil Mack has gotten better every game and is already one of the top 10 outside linebackers in the league. His run support defense has been one of the major strengths that Oakland’s defense has come to rely on week after week. On the struggling offensive line left tackle Donald Penn has performed admirably, earning an 15th rank overall from PFF. Surprisingly or unsurprisingly depending on your point of view, Raiders’ locker room Godfather Charles Woodson has been playing like an elite safety. PFF currently has him ranked 7th overall among safeties in the league with a score of 5.1 (highest ranked safety only has 8.1).

This bye week article will review key elements that have gotten Oakland into this spot as well as look at some of the things done correctly over the last four weeks. Hopefully the Week 5 matchup against San Diego will contain much more of the latter as Oakland attempts to salvage an already frustrating season under new interim Head Coach Tony Sparano.