It all comes down to execution, or lack thereof.
The Oakland Raiders have lost three of their last four games – the lone win being a thrilling, last-second win over the Kansas City Chiefs – but even though the Silver and Black currently sit two games under .500, Head Coach Jack Del Rio still believes that there are plays to be made.
Like we said above, it all just comes down to execution, and players doing their specific jobs at just the right moment.
"It comes down to basic execution in some cases," explained Head Coach Del Rio. "We certainly feel like we have a good team. I believe that we'll be able to put together a little bounce back here."
While many of those missed opportunities, and plays just not coming together, appear to be happening on the offensive side of the football, the Raiders defense has also had its fair share of opportunities that have passed them by.
Whether it's a missed tackle that leads to a big run, a momentary assignment confusion that leads to an explosive play, or just not being assignment sound, while Ken Norton, Jr.'s group has enjoyed some quality moments, they've certainly had their share of plays they'd like to do over.
"You could say the same thing about the defense," said defensive tackle Treyvon Hester. "The execution part, we need that a lot more, and once we start really making that happen, and executing a lot more, we'll see a lot more, better plays happening out there."
Headed into Sunday night's matchup with the Miami Dolphins, the Silver and Black currently rank No. 25 in total defense, allowing 356.9 yards per game, although they do grade out slightly better against the pass specifically, ranking 21st in the league in that particular metric.
That being said; through eight games, the team has yet to tally an interception, and while that stat has been brought up time and again over the past month, the fact remains that the Raiders are the final team in the NFL without a recorded interception.
"If you've been around a long time, you know they come in bunches," Norton said. "Sometimes you get them really fast. Sometimes they come over a period of time. Sometimes you get none and then they all come. You have to understand the belief in your principles. You have to understand and believe in your fundamentals and the way you work and the way you practice and know it's going to come. Sometimes you just don't see things, but you know, you have faith that your work ethic and your principles and the things that have [gotten] you to this point."
Now, to be fair, the Miami Dolphins have tallied just two interceptions this season, but until that first pick comes, it's going to be something that is continually discussed, something that both Norton and his defensive players are aware of.
"It's going to come," Norton explained. "We know it's going to come. It's just about working, keeping the belief and knowing that we know what's out there. It's just a matter of when. We'd like to see it sooner, but we aren't in charge of when it comes. We're ready to roll."
An interception would go a long way in helping the Raiders earn a win in Miami; let's see if they can force Jay Cutler into a few errant throws, and pull down the first stone to start the interception avalanche.