The Oakland Raiders are coming off their bye week with what they hoped would have been a better record, unfortunately they are currently 1-3 and are last place in the AFC West. Additionally, the Raiders have the worst ranked running game in the NFL, and Darren McFadden has been unable to anything this season outside of his one dominant performance in their week three victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Darren McFadden is only averaging 3.5 yards per carry, but hasn’t averaged more than 2.6 yards per carry in the three games other than the Steelers game. What was expected to be one of the Raiders major strengths this season is surprisingly their weakness, and that plays a role in the explanation of their 1-3 record.
However, McFadden’s struggles aren’t the only thing that is holding up the Oakland Raiders, their inability to keep the opposing offense out of the end zone is also a major issue. They are giving up 31.25 points per game, which ranks the Raiders as having the 3rd worst defense in the NFL. Their poor play on defense is an all around effort, they have the 28th ranked pass defense, and 24th ranked run defense. Before they can even demand that McFadden plays better, the Raiders need to force some stops and put the ball in the offenses hands with an opportunity to take an advantage in the game.
In order for the Raiders to turn around their season before it’s too late, they will need to play out of their minds against a solid 5-0 Atlanta Falcons team. The Falcons have been firing on all cylinders, and the Raiders will need Palmer and McFadden to lead the charge on offense, and hope that the defense can stop the Falcons high powered offense early, otherwise it could be a long game on Sunday, and the season could quickly slip away from the Raiders.