The Oakland Raiders enter the bye week with a 2-3 record, and while Head Coach Jack Del Rio said that the record is not where he would like it to be, it is a marked improvement from 2014 where the Silver and Black found themselves sitting at 0-4 heading into the bye.
Excluding the Week 1 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, Head Coach Del Rio's team has been supremely competitive in the early stages of the 2015, so now that the team is entering the bye week, let's take some time to look ahead and see what's coming down the pipeline for the Raiders.
Week 7 – at San Diego Chargers
The Chargers currently own a 2-3 record after losing in the final moments of Monday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on a last-second touchdown run by Le'Veon Bell.
Prior to welcoming the Silver and Black to San Diego, the Chargers will travel to Lambeau Field to take on Aaron Rodgers and the undefeated Green Bay Packers.
Through the first five games of the 2015 campaign, Philip Rivers has been his typical gun-slinging self, as he leads the NFL with 1,613 passing yards, so seeing how he and the San Diego offense operates against a young Raiders secondary will be an interesting battle to watch.
Week 8 – vs. New York Jets
Enter Ryan Fitzpatrick, the man who for some reason has become quite the thorn in the side of the Silver and Black in recent years.
The Harvard alumni has defeated the Raiders in back-to-back seasons as a member of two different teams, the Tennessee Titans in 2013 and then the Houston Texans last seasonHe is now the man under center for the New York Jets and is hoping to knock off the Raiders for a third-consecutive season.
Let's also not forget that Fitzpatrick was the starting quarterback for the Buffalo Bills in 2011 when they beat the Raiders 38-35.
Fitzpatrick's current team, the New York Jets have come quickly out of the gates in 2015, boasting a 3-1 record under first-year head coach Todd Bowles, and true to form boast a stout defense, one that is now ranked No. 1 in the NFL, allowing just 280.3 yards per game.
Week 9 – at Pittsburgh Steelers
Following their tilt with the New York Jets at O.co Coliseum, the Raiders will pack their bags and head east to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field.
A photo recap of the Oakland Raiders' 2015-2016 season thus far.
When the Silver and Black arrive in the Steel City, the question on everyone's mind will be; who will be under center for the Pittsburgh Steelers?
Ben Roethlisberger suffered an MCL sprain in Pittsburgh's Week 3 game against the St. Louis Rams – an injury that was expected to sideline the Steelers starting quarterback for between four and six weeks.
Veteran signal-caller Michael Vick has performed admirably in his absence, leading the team to a 3-2 record, but make no mistake about it, the Steeler offense is vastly different, and better, when Roethlisberger is under center.
Week 10 vs. Minnesota Vikings
A rematch of a 2015 preseason tilt.
The Raiders traveled to Minnesota in Week 2 of the preseason, eventually falling to the Vikings 20-12, but after the game Head Coach Del Rio expressed his lack of concern in the result, noting that by the time the two matched up again they would be two very different teams.
And Head Coach Del Rio is right, as 13 weeks will have passed between the team's meetings.
As it stands right now, the Vikings hold a record of 2-2 and are led by running back Adrian Peterson who is currently ranked 8th in the NFL with 372 rushing yards.
The matchup between the Raiders and Vikings also serves as a rematch of Super Bowl XI which the Silver and Black won 32-14 after the 1976 season.