Entering their 10th game, the Oakland Raiders have a mark of 3-6 in the 2012 NFL season. Back-to-back losses to Tampa Bay and at Baltimore have realistically ended any playoff aspirations, and now the season is about improvement and player evaluation.
Not exactly what many in Raider Nation had in mind for this season, but year one of a new regime is rarely a stunning success. Even the best teams had to start humbly. Take this team for example. Or even this team. I'm not saying the Raiders are going to wind up dynastic or even that the new model for the NFL leads to sustained success.
But the reality is, most times you have to step back to go forward. Oakland's roster has only begun to be transformed. So look at this team in a longer view, if possible. Stepping off the soapbox and back into the present, the Raiders host the suddenly hot New Orleans Saints. This is the first of four home games in the next five weeks, meaning Oakland does have a chance to notch a couple of wins.
So with that in mind, here are my five keys for the Raiders to pull off the upset against New Orleans on Sunday afternoon.