Oakland Raiders Week 11 X-Factors against the Cincinnati Bengals

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - AUGUST 15: Hunter Renfrow #13 of the Oakland Raiders runs with the ball after a catch during the second quarter of an NFL preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on August 15, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - AUGUST 15: Hunter Renfrow #13 of the Oakland Raiders runs with the ball after a catch during the second quarter of an NFL preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on August 15, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 27: Head coach Jon Gruden of the Oakland Raiders yells at the officials during a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on October 27, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 27: Head coach Jon Gruden of the Oakland Raiders yells at the officials during a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on October 27, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Jon Gruden

Of course, the head coach/play-caller will play a big role on Sunday, but Gruden’s biggest challenge occurs during the week. With how well the team has played and how the Bengals have fared this season, it’s easy for Oakland’s players to feel too comfortable and become complacent, and that is how upsets happen.

It’s Gruden’s job to combat said complacency and find unique ways to keep the team motivated.

With such an inferior opponent, the coach needs to find ways to talk up Cincinnati and remind his team that they are not invincible. Whether that means being extra critical in practice or taking a page out of Bill Belichick’s book. Three years ago before playing the 4-7 Los Angeles Rams, The Hoodie spent nearly an entire press conference raving about Johnny Hekker, the punter.

Now does Gruden need to go in front of the team and rave about the Bengals specialists? No, but the point is he needs to find ways to keep the team motivated and focused on the task at hand. The game might be played on Sunday, but it is won on Monday through Saturday.