The winless Raiders have created a ton of anxiety among their fans. Many have questions.
Here is a sampling of what arrived in this week’s mailbag:
Sonic Raider (@SonicRaider2): Will the Raiders ever win a game again?
VINCENT BONSIGNORE: The longer they go without one, the more elusive it seems to become, right?
That said, the Raiders have lost three winnable games that with a play here or a play there could have been turned into victories.
They have played significant stretches in all three losses in which they were the dominant team.
So clearly they have the talent to compete. It’s just a matter of stringing together four consecutive quarters of football in the same game.
At some point, they will do that.
Kevin M. James (@drealkevinjames): With no starting cornerbacks available this week and the offense still not clicking, why do they continue to refuse to run the ball?
VB: The Raiders are hopeful of getting starting cornerbacks Nate Hobbs and Rock Ya-Sin back for Sunday’s game against the Broncos. They also hope to have safety Tre’von Moehrig and linebacker Denzel Perryman back in the lineup.
As far as the question about running more, the Raiders truly want to create a run-pass balance. But the score and sometimes the down and distances have not been favorable to creating a consistent ground game.
Far too often, the Raiders are playing from behind or negative plays or penalties have put them in long down-and-distance situations in which they are compelled to throw the ball.
They want to play more games under their terms rather than that of their opponent. When that happens, the balance will occur.
Ricardo Peña (@Ricardo31768549): When is Malcolm Koonce going to get more snaps?
VB: Great question, and one that many people are wondering about. Right now Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones are getting most of the snaps. But with Jones struggling, you wonder if Koonce will see more time to try to ignite the pass rush.
That said, players usually determine how much they play based on how they are practicing and producing when given the opportunity. Not saying Koonce hasn’t taken full advantage of his opportunities, but whatever the case the Raiders just haven’t been ready to use him more.
Steve Grundy (@SteveGrundy20): What is the scoop with offensive lineman Justin Herron?
VB: The Raiders sent a 2024 sixth-round pick to the Patriots for Herron and a 2024 seventh-round pick.
Right now he is a backup, but is clearly on Josh McDaniels’ radar, having played for him in New England. You get the feeling he’ll get a chance to push for a starting job at right tackle, especially if Thayer Munford and Jermaine Eluemunor don’t prove they deserve the job.
RaiderRon (@macomboys Raiders): Regarding the players-only meeting: How often do these work?
VB: While there is no official statistic tracking these things — that we know of — so charting their success is always tricky. The more teams have them, the more problems that team typically has. The Raiders have talent, but for whatever reason, they haven’t been able to harness it in a way that can win a football game. The captains felt it was time to talk about what has been holding the team back, assess those problems and try to figure out solutions.
On Sunday they have a chance to see if what they come up with will bear fruit.