Oakland Raiders: Three Reasons To Still Be Cautious

The last three weeks has been a heck of a ride for the Oakland Raiders. They have destroyed past and present AFC West rivals 115-37 dominating on both sides of the ball.

This has sent the Raider Nation into overdrive with dreams of the play-offs and divisional crowns seemingly now with-in their grasp.

It is easy to feel the elation at finally managing to rid the Raider tradition of the darkness that has surrounded the past seven seasons and derogatory epithets such as “dysfunctional”. This monkey is well and truly off their back, as loyalty, consistency, wise drafting, solid free-agency pick-ups, good coaching, talent and hard-work have been the bed-rock of the Raiders revival.

The Raiders are back.

But before we all start organising Super Bowl parties and voting for half of the team to go to the Pro Bowl, there are some words of warning for the 5-4 Raiders.

Firstly, the schedule is against Oakland. The Raiders are at 5-4, with the Chiefs narrowly ahead at 5-3. With Oakland sitting at home on a bye week, the Chiefs go to Mile High in Denver and will in all probability extend their record to 6-4. KC has a much easier schedule than Oakland and also play host to their rivals in the season finale. Oakland will have to keep winning, hope the KC bus gets de-railed and that the Chargers resurgence is short-lived.

Secondly, the injury list is mounting. Yes, Oakland has a bye-week at a perfect time, but it is not ideal to have Gradkowski, Schilens, Murphy, Zach Miller, Asomugha, Howard, Henderson and Branch all with concerns about their ability to go and perform after the bye. Offensive stand-outs Robert Gallery and Darren McFadden have also had a chequered few seasons with regards to staying on the field.

Yes, dealing with injuries is part of football; yes everyone gets injured sometime; but these are key players for Oakland and they will be a poorer team without them. Coach Tom ...

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