Raiders.com Mailbag: Taking stock as we head into the bye week

The Oakland Raiders are officially on the bye, but that doesn’t meant that all of us here at Raiders.com are on vacation… yet.

We’ll get to enjoy a little bit of down time over the weekend – more on that later – but before we turn off the studio lights for 48 hours, you had questions, a lot of questions.

Once again, thanks for your submissions; I say it every week, I read all of them – even the ones with the, uh, colorful language.

Anyways, rest up, Raider Nation, we’ll need you when we get back from the bye.

Bring on the Mailbag.

From Ron M: What’s been the biggest issue through six weeks?

EP: In some way, shape or form, this was the question that a majority people asked this week, but since Ron asked it the most concisely, and levelheadedly, he gets the answer.

Okay, so what’s been the biggest issue? Well, like any team that’s 1-5, there have certainly been problem areas for the Silver and Black in 2018, but for me, I think the biggest thing is the team’s inability to be consistent in all three phases.

Some days the offense has looked dynamic, and exciting, and in others – the past two for instance – that just hasn’t been the case. The same could be said for the defense, as well as the special teams units – we simply haven’t seen consistent, 60-minute performances from the Raiders in the early goings of the regular season.

That’s not to say that it won’t come in 2018; Head Coach Jon Gruden and his staff are determined to get things turned around, but as it stands now, the overall consistency in all three phases is what I’d like to see get better after the bye.

From Randy E: This team is 1-5. Is this season over? Do we need to just get ready for 2019?!?

EP: Randy, brother, let’s not jump ship – don’t be one of those guys.

Look, I fully understand the frustration from the fans, I really do. Headed into 2018, I don’t there’s anyone who expected that the Silver and Black would be 1-5 at this juncture, but alas, that’s where we are at the moment.

That said, should you abandon your fandom, fall into the narrative that the season is over in mid-October, and check back in with us in April? Absolutely not.

There are still 10 games left on the schedule, which to put in perspective means that we aren’t even halfway through the regular season just yet.

I know that it’s easy to feel that the sky is falling since the team is four games under .500, but let’s not forget that three of the Raiders next four opponents boast 1-5 records too.

Just sayin’…

From Ernie C: Has ANYONE impressed you through the first six weeks?

EP: As a matter of fact, Ernie, yes.

When I read your question, the first guy that came to mind is running back Jalen Richard.

The third-year back has, frankly, been outstanding in 2018, and while his rushing total (32 yards) hasn’t been overly impressive, where he’s really made his impact is in the passing game.

As it stands, Richard ranks fourth on the team with 253 receiving yards, and his 32 receptions is actually good for second on the Raiders roster.

Week in and week out, Richard has played his heart out, and it’s been a blast to watch him do his thing out there on the football field.

Defensively, Maurice Hurst has been as advertised – if not better – in his rookie campaign, so those two are the dudes I’ve been impressed with thus far in 2018.

From Evan C: Do you have any plans for the bye?

EP: The bye week is a great time to recharge, and step away from the game for a few days, so honestly, I don’t really have a ton of plans.

One of my childhood friends is having a birthday celebration on Saturday, so I’ll spend the day biking around Wine Country, but outside of that, I’ll be sitting on my couch, watching football like everyone else.

It shall be glorious. 

Have a great bye, Raider Nation, and I’ll catch up with you as we look ahead to the Indianapolis Colts.

Take a look through the top images from the Raiders' game against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 6 at Wembley Stadium in London.

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