The Raiders' record might be 1-5, but this team is not made up of quitters.
No one is denying that the Silver and Black are looking at an uphill battle for the rest of 2018, but the team is rallying together in the face of adversity.
Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks was the Raiders' worst loss of 2018, and in the words of running back Jalen Richard, "we got our butt whooped." All three phases were unable to do much of anything in London, and each member of the roster will take advantage of the bye week to decompress, and come back better for the team's Week 8 battle with the Indianapolis Colts.
"We're kind of getting away from [football] a little bit, it's basically on us," rookie defensive tackle P.J. Hall said Tuesday. "So just make sure we go home, workout, and make sure you do what you need to do, make sure you stay in shape, and come back ready.
"Everybody is still positive, we have a great mindset going into this bye week even though our record isn't as great as we expected," Hall added. "We still have a great mindset to keep rolling, and [we're focused] on playing great each week."
Richard is in the midst of his third NFL season, and despite the Raiders struggling offensively, No. 30 has been one of the few bright spots. The Baton Rouge native surprised many people when he made the active roster two seasons ago, but ever since, he's been a consistent, versatile weapon. During his three years as a Raider, Richard has totaled 790 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, 703 receiving yards, and three receiving touchdowns. The 25 year old is starting to step up as a leader now, and is taking it upon himself to make his teammates around him stay upbeat.
"I try to talk to the guys, and make sure nobody is really worrying," Richard said. "To me, shoot, we got food and we got water at the house, so there's nothing to worry about. Definitely it's a high focus on trying to turn this thing around, and like I said, using this bye week to our advantage to just clear our minds, come back ready to compete, and just have fun, and play ball. You gotta go out there and just have fun and continue to compete, we can't just let anybody do us the way Seattle did this past weekend, it just can't happen."
Despite the team's struggles, Head Coach Jon Gruden is pleased with the effort he's seen from his players. When the scoreboard reads 27-3, it's not always easy to continue playing when all the momentum is going against you, but Gruden didn't see any letup.
"I'm very happy with the effort," Coach Gruden said. "I have no problems with the effort. Very happy."
Headed into the bye week the Raiders will carry an optimistic attitude, and try to nurse many of the injured players back to health. Several players will return home to see family, or take a trip to clear their mind, but Gruden wanted to leave them with a message prior to the team's departure.
"I left them with a pretty clear message," he said sternly. "I don't want to really get any further into it with anybody else. I'll say this, we aren't tanking anything. I hear the hatred out there, some of the rumors that we are tanking it to get a first round pick or a higher pick. We are not getting up at 4 o'clock in the morning to tank it. Ain't nobody tanking it. I don't know who wrote that or who said that or who thinks that, but that isn't the case here. We are going to continue to work hard, continue to build our team and that was part of the message."
Gruden and the Raiders aren't willing to wave the white flag, and I expect them to return from the bye rejuvenated and ready for the final ten games of the regular season.