Oakland Raiders Mustn’t Dwell on Their Loss to Green Bay Packers

The Oakland Raiders have had a week to lick their wounds, after being humiliatingly smacked and whacked by the Green Bay Packers last Sunday. As a result, their two-game lead in the AFC West evaporated, and the Raiders now see the galloping Denver Broncos in front of them, alone in first place. What once was a highly confident and brash Oakland team is now only a confident and brash team.

But they are fully aware of the bumpy road that remains ahead of them.

And yet despite the painfully dejecting last two games, the Raiders must lift their heads up knowing that they still remain in playoff contention. Head coach Hue Jackson reaffirmed that they are “still in the thick” of it, and that their focus mustn’t be on the past beatdowns they’ve experienced at the hands of the Miami Dolphins and the Packers. As wincingly humbling and embarrassing as those two games were, Oakland must awaken themselves into coherence, as time is running out on their playoff dreams.

Much has been made about quarterback Carson Palmer’s performance, and the long list of players who are injured, including the whereabouts of running back Darren McFadden and when about should fans expect him back. But what is most important to the Raiders and their aspirations of the postseason is their defense—or lack thereof.

Oakland’s last two games are only a microcosm of the entire season. While their porous run defense is well-documented, the defense as a whole has not been steady. Through 13 games, the Raiders have given up over 374 yards of offense per game, ranking 26th in the NFL. Part of the blame can be pointed to Oakland’s inability to get their defense off the field. They rank in the bottom third in the league in opponent’s third-down conversion percentage (41.11). This has prevented the Raiders from winning any time-of-possession battles, as well.

Oakland is going to have their...

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