After back-to-back wins, the Oakland Raiders are back at .500, and with four games left on the regular season schedule, Head Coach Jack Del Rio's squad controls its own destiny.
Next up for the Silver and Black is an absolutely critical road matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, so as the team prepares to start prepping for Alex Smith and Co., here is this week's edition of the Raiders.com Mailbag.
From: @BBARAIDER: What's the status of Coop!! And what is the time frame of him being able to return?
EP:Well, as of this writing (Tuesday afternoon) Amari was still in the concussion protocol, and therefore unable to talk to the media. Because of that, we don't really have a clear timetable on when he will be able to get back to work, but we'll know a lot more in the coming days when the Raiders return to the practice field. Starting tomorrow, the team will be required to produce a practice participation report, so when we get a chance to see where "Coop" stands on that, we'll likely have a much better idea of how the week will look for him. That being said, we still have a long time between now and game day, but if for whatever reason Cooper isn't able to hit the field, the Raiders receiving corps will still get a boost with the return of Michael Crabtree from his one-game suspension.
From Rich D: It was good to see Clive get rolling!!! Where has he been this year? Go RAIDERS.
EP:Rich, you sir are correct when you say that it was good to see No. 88 get rolling last week against the Giants. While he only had four catches for 57 yards, several of those catches came at big times in the game, and give credit to Walford for making the most of his opportunities. During his usual Monday afternoon press conference, Head Coach Del Rio made sure to mention Walford and credit him for stepping up when the team needed him. With the addition of Jared Cook to the Raiders roster, Walford has seen his role reduced, but in speaking to No. 88 after Sunday's win, he said that even though he might not be catching as many passes as he did a year ago, he's remained locked in on the game plan, as well as during the game, because as he said, you never know when your time will come. Well, the former University of Miami Hurricane's number was called against the Giants, and he made sure to answer.
**From @Hotlinekickz84: Why isn't Patterson getting the ball more?
EP:Well, when he makes plays like he did last week against the Giants, it really does beg that question, doesn't it? Headed into Week 14, Patterson has hauled in 25 passes for 283 yards, averaging an impressive 11.3 yards per reception. The dynamic wide receiver is a playmaker, plain and simple, but I think it does him a bit of a disservice to strictly look at his stats when trying to equate to his value on the team. Not only is Patterson an excellent wide receiver, he's an elite return man as well, and is also a force to be reckoned with as a gunner on special teams. Every good team needs players like Patterson, but man, it's a lot of fun to watch him with the ball in his hands.
From Mark H: Alright, Mr. Oregon Duck, who's going to be the next head coach in Eugene?
EP:Oh boy, Mark, just kicking a man while he's down…. To answer your question though, I really don't know. If you had asked me this two weeks ago, I would have said Chip Kelly in a heartbeat. My four years in Eugene coincided with Chip's four years, so I'll always have a soft spot for him, but outside of that, I think the man is a tremendous college coach. But, alas, Chip is now running things in Southern California, so my pipe dream is no more. But, I still believe that Oregon is one of the premier programs in the country, so I'm excited to see who gets the gig.