Oakland Raiders' Early Alert, Wake Up Call in 2011: Straighten Up

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Oakland Raiders' Early Alert, Wake Up Call in 2011: Straighten Up
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

There was an old song titled, "Straighten Up and Fly Right," written by Nat King Cole.

Before the regular season starts and looking at the data after bye weeks from 2002 to 2010, it just makes sense to share a little wisdom and broadcast a warning. After looking at the data immediately after bye weeks, I think that you will agree the Oakland Raiders need to be put on notice.

As a researcher on the careers of some former professional football players, in the past a few years guys may have been guilty of slipping and sliding, having a little fun during bye weeks.

It's okay to have fun, but not so much fun that your "head is bad," as some folks used to say in the old days.

Here is a reality check for all to see. In 2010 the Steelers defeated the Raiders after a bye week, too.

 

  2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002
Steelers W W L L W W L W
Oakland L L L L L L L W

The data shows the Oakland Raiders, our beloved team, has not won a game immediately after bye week since 2002.

Don't you think it makes sense to sing to them, "Straighten Up and Fly Right"? Doesn't it make sense to give a warning and early alert since the pattern of losing after bye weeks needs to be changed?

Additional observations can be made based on the data. This is a table of the win-loss records and the frequency of each since 1978. In 1978, the NFL started the 16-game season. The table lists the wins of the Oakland Raiders, grouped by years.

 

12 wins     11 wins 10 wins 9 wins 8 wins
3 3 2 4 6
     
       2010
2000 2002 2001 1994 1999
1990 1984 1993 1991 1998
1985 1980   1979 1995
      1978 1989
        1986

In 2000, 1990 and 1985, the Raiders had a win-loss record of 12-6.

In 2002, 1984 and 1980, the Raiders win-loss record was 11-5.

In 2001 and 1993, the Raiders' win-loss record was 10-6.

In 1994, 1991, 1979 and 1978, the win-loss record was 9-7.

There was a 1-to-1 ratio of wins to losses in 2010, 1999, 1998, 1995, 1989 and 1986. In other words, the record was 8-8.

It looks like the percentage of winning a game immediately after a bye week is small, or less than 10 percent. More than 90 percent of the time in the past 11 years, the Raiders have not won the game immediately after their bye week.

Have I made my point?

So, "straighten up and play right after bye week" is the resounding message in 2011. We can forgive the preseason performance. Once the regular season starts, we expect a different pattern.

Go Raiders, go!

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