Oakland Raiders Have Lessons to Learn in Final Four Games

The Oakland Raiders have four games to learn some valuable lessons and make strides as a developing roster.

The Silver and Black dropped four of its last five contests against solid competition, falling victim to critical errors of any upstart NFL team.

With three of the last four games against plus .500 clubs, it’s important to continue the learning process in preparation for the future. 

Head coach Jack Del Rio should allow the team to play loose, considering the drop-off in pressure for a postseason push. It’s time to experiment and allow ample playing time for potential playmakers. Rookies and new starters should have their skill sets on full display. 

On a macro level, there are two specific objectives to address as a team.


Learning to Close Games 

The inability to finish games on a strong note after building a lead became evident early in the season. The issue extended beyond losing leads and affected the Raiders' win-loss record, per Associated Press writer Josh Dubow. 

Those two statistics tell the entire story about the Raiders' tendencies in the clutch. This team possesses the capability to gain a lead, but lacks the killer instinct to put opponents away or sustain productivity in critical situations. That’s a widespread problem, unspecific to the offense or defense.

No one can knock the Raiders for blinking when going toe-to-toe with established rosters guided by top-notch coaching in early development. However, Oakland must acquire and build on a winning mentality. 

Months ago, safety Charles Woodson spoke about the culture shift in Oakland during an interview with NFL Network via NFL.com.

As a total team I think the last couple of years that I've been here I don't know if everybody felt like we were going to go into the games and win the games. So this yea...

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