Another Tuesday means another Raiders.com Mailbag.
Still without their first win of 2018, the Silver and Black will attempt to right the ship Sunday afternoon back at home against the resurgent Cleveland Browns, now led by rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield.
Preparations for the Week 4 game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum begin in earnest Wednesday; let's get to your questions.
From Greg Helmka: What does the defense need to improve overall especially in the fourth quarter?
EP: Well, Greg, we talked about that a little big earlier on "Raiders Live" our weekly show on Facebook.
While ending a game on the receiving end of a 21-3 run is certainly far from ideal, and likely won't result in a ton of victories, I don't think it's necessarily fair to pin everything on Paul Guenther's defense.
Let's not forget that the Dolphins entered Sunday's game as the No. 6 rushing attack in the NFL, and by game's end, the Raiders defense had surrendered just 15 rushing yards to the tandem of Frank Gore and Kenyan Drake. Now, you bring up a great point that the group did allow 14 points in the final frame of Sunday's loss at Hard Rock Stadium, and that's no doubt an aspect of the game that needs to get figured out as we go through the season.
But anyways, back to your question; how exactly does that improvement manifest itself? Well, as cliché as it sounds, I think it all comes down to the little details. Almost every NFL game comes down to a play here, or a play there, and whichever team wins those plays usually ends up with the "W."
It's all about the details, always.
From Douglas N Stanton: Is Carr really clicking with Grudens System?!
EP: It sure looks like it, doesn't it? Through three weeks, Carr has thrown for 936 yards, and completed 76.6 percent of his passes, and while those performances have yet to result in a win, each week it seems like No. 4 is getting more and more comfortable in what is being asked of him by Coach Gruden.
That said, there have been some growing pains – five interceptions through three games – but let's not forget that Carr is once again being asked to learn a completely new offense, with new verbiage specific to Coach Gruden and his staff.
Coach Gruden has routinely spoke highly of Carr, and the work he's done so far in the offense, so I think it's fair to say that the pair is clicking.
From Anthony Rose: Why do you think Cooper is so up and down?
EP: I don't know if I'd say that that "Coop" is up and down, as much as I'd say that other guys are eating too.
Week 1 belonged to Jared Cook, "Coop" made sure he got his Week 2 against the Denver Broncos, and Sunday afternoon was Jordy Nelson's day to feast.
Look, do the Raiders want the player deemed the focal point of their aerial attack to haul in more than two catches over the course of a 60-minute ballgame? Certainly, but it's not as if the passing game has sputtered when No. 89 hasn't gotten rolling.
The Raiders currently rank sixth in the league, averaging 302 yards per game, so I'd be a lot more concerned about Cooper not getting his numbers if the team wasn't producing like they are.
Don't worry about, Amari; trust me.
From Dan A Tollett: What's up with [Karl] Joseph?
EP: Per Head Coach Jon Gruden, Joseph injured his hamstring chasing down Ryan Tannehill in the first quarter of Sunday's loss to the Dolphins. The expectation is that he won't be able to go this week against the Browns, but we'll know a lot more when the injury report comes out Wednesday.
From Floyd Benjamin Jr: No pink socks?
EP: Nope, not this week. Hit me up on twitter - @eddiepaskal – and send over suggestions for what socks to rock next week on "Raiders Live."
Until next week, Raider Nation.