Bad Bye Week Placement
I feel like this is something I complain about every year. The Raiders always seemed to get screwed over when it comes to the bye week. Pin it to the calendar, the Raiders will have a bye week in Week 6 and have to go on a 10 game stretch to hopefully end the year strong. I didn't know if it was something that was some sort of recency bias, so I went back and checked. Here's what I found:
- In the last five years, three of them have literally been Week 6 bye weeks
- The other two were Week 7 and Week 8
- You have to go back a whole six years before you get to a season where their bye week was on the second half of the schedule
For me, the sweet spot is in the Week 9 - 11 range. You have the first half of the season out of the way, you rest up and then take on the second half. Don't get me wrong, Week 13 is definitely better than Week 6, I am happy about that. But with their Thursday Night game against the Chargers being Week 15 and the other five primetime games being Pre-Bye and causing short weeks, there's not much time for rest.
The Raiders also have the second latest bye in all of the NFL
What seems to level out those scales a little bit is the structure of their home games. Three of the last four games before the bye are at home and the first two after the bye are as well. Six weeks out of a seven week stretch the Raiders can stay home and don't have to hop a plane anywhere. That might help make up for a hectic first half of the season.