It's really down to the wire now.
The Silver and Black head toward the end of the season with their playoff destiny still in their hands against the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers will be set on avenging their loss from earlier this season, one that ended in dramatic fashion. While the Chargers have gotten healthier since their loss to the Raiders, the Silver and Black have gone in the opposite direction on the defensive side of the ball. On top of that, Thursday night's game will be Rod Marinelli's first game as interim defensive coordinator for the Raiders after the Raiders let go of Paul Guenther.
It's been a crazy week, but the Raiders must be ready to go against their AFC West rivals. Another week of some pretty good, insightful questions from Raider Nation. As always come find me @theleviedwards on Twitter or Instagram if you have anymore questions.
Now, on to the Chargers.
Scott Boe asks...
"What, if any, real change can we expect to see defensively over these last few games now that Marinelli is the interim DC?"
I believe the biggest thing we'll see out of these guys the last few weeks of the season is intensity.
The Silver and Black have a lot of odds stacked against them at the moment, with injuries and time running out on their playoff hopes. If the Raiders want to win out and be successful, they'll have to abide by Rod Marinelli's mindset of playing "quick, fast and physical."
Marinelli must also bring more discipline to the defense as a whole and make sure everyone is on the right page, no matter who is playing. Even though Marinelli can't come in and fix everything in a couple of days and implement a whole bunch of new schemes and packages, he can definitely do his best to bring the drive and intensity out of his defense, especially now when they need it the most.
Matthew Alan Lewandowski asks...
"Are we going to switch from 4-3?"
According to Rod Marinelli, there shouldn't be too many changes to the scheme of the defense this late in the season. Marinelli expressed that he believes that a good foundation has already been set for the team, and that he feels that it's up to the players to play with more intensity moving forward.
""I think we got our package established," Marinelli said. "So it's really hard within a day or two, in a few walkthroughs, to get everything done. So, we got our system, and we are constantly working on refining certain things we do well and things that we believe in."
Well said, Coach Rod.
Freddy Oliva asks...
"How do the Raiders get that fire going again and can they?"
Yes, they can get that fire going again.
For lack of better words, the Silver and Black must play desperately for the rest of the season. They have to continue to keep the one week at a time, do-or-die, single-elimination mindset for here on out. Many of the players have expressed this the past couple of weeks, but there's no more time to talk about it, and only be about it after losing three of their last four games.
Also expect for veteran leaders on the team such as Derek Carr, Rodney Hudson and Jason Witten to be more vocal and demanding of their younger teammates to bring the fire in practice as well.
"I guess I've been a little more short fused. I don't think that's a bad thing," said Derek Carr. "I guess the expectation, the demand, is what it is. I'm going to hold people to that standard as long as I have a breath in my lungs because I know we're capable of it."
That's commitment right there.
The Silver and Black begin preparations for their Thursday Night Football matchup against the division-rival Los Angeles Chargers with a walkthrough at Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center.