Skip to main content
Raider Nation, Stand Up - View Schedule - Presented by Allegiant
Presented By

Raiders Mailbag: Can the team finish the season strong following bye week?

Ronson McDowell from Ohio asks:

"Do you think the bye week will help us get focused to make a run for the NFL playoffs?"

The Raiders seem focused on taking it one game at a time. The bye week rest should only help them get dialed in.

This is the first time since 2017 the Raiders have had a bye week in Week 10 or later. It's been a long season for the team dealing with injuries and midseason coaching changes. Nevertheless, all of their goals are still in front of them.

"Twelve straight weeks in the National Football League, that's tough. ... That's hard on the body," Interim Head Coach Antonio Pierce said. "For those guys to come back and now to have an extra seven or so days to get ready before our next game, before we play the Vikings, is huge for our team. Also, I think it's an opportunity for us to reset mentally.

"It's been a lot of trying times this year," continued Pierce. "A lot of ups and downs, and you sit back, you reset, you think about it, spend some time with your family and coming toward end of the week you start missing football again, that Friday, Saturday, Sunday you're not playing. Get these guys back in the building on Monday and we're ready to roll."

Chad Dubs from Arizona asks:

"Could we see the newly signed Jack Jones step up soon?"

All signs point to Jack Jones stepping up as a starter moving forward.

Following the Raiders' decision to part ways with Marcus Peters on Monday, that leaves more reps for Jones. The former Patriots cornerback is getting his feet wet in the Raiders defense, notching five solo tackles over the past two games. After seeing 12 snaps against the Dolphins, his snap count ramped up to 40 against the Chiefs. According to Pierce, his snap count is expected to trend upward, along with more reps for rookie Jakorian Bennett at the two outside cornerback positions.

"Obviously [Jones] is going to be a work in progress learning the system and scheme, but the athleticism is there," Pierce said. "[He has] the skills to cover what we want to do from a schematic standpoint with PG [Patrick Graham] and the defense. He gives us some opportunity to make some plays, and obviously as we go forward, his reps will grow with the confidence that the coaches have within him."

Victor Ruiz from Illinois said:

"I've kind of been encouraged the last few games with the play of Tyree Wilson."

Watching Tyree Wilson play, you can see the strides being made.

People look too much at the rookie's pass rushing stats, but his ability to help stop the run has begun to jump out on film to me. With his sheer size and athleticism, the Raiders can afford to play him anywhere on the defensive line. While the edge rusher has totaled 1.5 sacks, his role and production will likely only increase with time.

"[F]ocused on him just improving," defensive coordinator Patrick Graham said. "I mean, defensive line, whether you're a nine technique or five technique, I know the combinations of blocks can be different, but it still comes down to reading your keys, striking your key with your hands, getting your hands out in front of your eyes and then being able to transition in the pass rush.

"I always think there's a benefit for a young edge player to have some experience down inside, because I've told you guys before in college when they're that good, nobody's really blocked them before. So, how good are they with their hands? ... I think there's a lot of positives that go into that when you move him up and down the line, especially early on."

View director of photography Michael Clemens' top picks of black and white photos from the Raiders' Week 12 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs at Allegiant Stadium.

Related Content