Well, it was a rough one Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium, and Monday, Head Coach Jack Del Rio wasn't looking to give excuses for the Raiders effort against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Silver and Black now own a 6-7 record with three games to play, and while the postseason is still not out of reach, the group's slim margin for error is now even slimmer.
Next up for Del Rio and his squad is a primetime clash with the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The Week 15 game is a must win for the Silver and Black, so you understandably had some questions headed into the week.
Here is the newest iteration of the Raiders.com Mailbag.
From @JamesACImbrok: Will we see Obi get some playing time to prepare for next year?
EP:First off, even though the Silver and Black are 6-7, let's not shift our attention to 2018 just yet. While the Raiders are certainly facing an uphill climb to the postseason, as a wise man said, it's never over until it's over… I do know what you're getting at though as far as Obi is concerned. After playing nearly every snap against the New England Patriots, we haven't really seen a ton of No. 20 the past three weeks (he appeared strictly on special teams Sunday afternoon in Kansas City). Look, is Obi Melifonwu in the team's long-term plans going forward? Certainly, so I don't think it's really too fair to look into how much he's playing, or not playing, right now. Head Coach Jack Del Rio is going to put the 11 guys out on the field that he thinks gives the defense the best chance to perform, and if Melifonwu is one of those players, he's going to be out there.
From @hawaiian_Gurl49: You were so close as far as standings. What will it take for you to get there now? You CAN do it!!
EP:First of all, thank you for the positive energy. While the Raiders slim margin for error is admittedly even slimmer after the loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, they are still technically in the mix as far as the AFC playoffs are concerned. Now, they're going to need a little bit of help to get there, but if the Raiders can take care of business the next few weeks, things will get really interesting down the stretch. First things first though, Derek Carr and Co. have to take care of business this Sunday night against Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys, which will be no easy task considering the 'Boys are in the midst of a playoff battle themselves. Head Coach Del Rio always stresses the importance of controlling what you can control, and focusing on the next game on the schedule, which in this case is an absolutely vital showdown on Sunday Night Football.
**From @sternwarrior: What are we doing to increase our offensive intensity in the first half? Too many 3 and outs.
EP:It sounds so simple, but I think it all just comes down to execution. Head Coach Del Rio said Monday that he's been happy with the energy and intensity he sees in practice, it's just been an issue translating that to the field come Sunday. Over the past few weeks we've seen that the Raiders are capable of playing quality, exciting, offensive football – Del Rio brought up the fourth quarter of Sunday's game as an example – but in order for the team to find success down the stretch run, they're going to need that spark to manifest itself earlier than the fourth quarter. The plays are there and the players are there, so at the end of the day, it just comes down to executing, and all 11 guys doing their jobs on a consistent basis.
From @nathananthony: What happened to our #1 draft pick @_gconley8?
EP:After appearing in two games, and recording one, very impressive pass defensed, the rookie cornerback was placed on the Reserve/Injured List November 13, essentially ending his first season in Silver and Black. While Conley missed a majority of the regular season, the hope is that he can return healthy, and ready to rock in 2018.