Before conclusions are drawn, we need to put things in context. For example, this writer looked at the point difference of games in 2010 and compared them to the point difference of the three preseason games of 2011.
In the three preseason games of 2011, the Oakland Raiders have the following scores
A point difference of -6 is not bad, but when the differences are double digits, then there is a concern.
In 2010 there were three games that the Raiders loss and the differences were double digits.
As we look at the pattern of differences, we see that there were four times when the Raiders won and the point differences were double digits and positive.
There were three games with close results, which makes the Raiders look decent in those competitive games.
If we try to describe the pattern in this performance, we see inconsistencies. We see violent fluctuations.
In fact, the only time there was a display of consistency was at the phenomenal victory over the Broncos and the two subsequent games. During that period the scores were:
The times when the Oakland Raiders had large double digit differences indicating poor performance were the first game of 2010, the game immediately after bye week and the second game after bye week.
Two weeks prior to making an outstanding statement by defeating the Broncos in 2010, the Raiders had a "yo-yo" performance of up eight, and then down eight. In other words, the Raiders won a game, lost a game and then won a fantastic game by defeating the Broncos.
One observation that can definitely be made is that the team is not stabilized yet. The coach needs to really learn his team, and the players must learn more about each other on the playing field.
The trend so far during preseason is downward. The point difference for the first preseason game was -6. The second game had a -14. The third game had a -20.
What's going on? What will it take to stop the downward trend? What will it take to get back to performing as they did in 2010 when they had three consecutive wins?
Finally, look at the data and tell us what you see.
Believe it or not, the data does tell us a portion of the story. At this point, consistency is what is needed from both the coaches and the players.