Raiders vs. Bills Week 2: 3 Improvements to Make the Raiders Playoff Contenders

Kasey ScottAnalyst ISeptember 19, 2011

Raiders vs. Bills Week 2: 3 Improvements to Make the Raiders Playoff Contenders

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    Following a disappointing 38-35 loss at Buffalo, Hue Jackson must now figure out how to turn the Oakland Raiders into a true playoff contender. 

    For the second week in a row the Raiders held a 10+ point lead at half time only to make things interesting after the half. 

    Luckily in Week 1 the Raiders were able to hold on for 23-20 win in Denver, but the same couldn't be said for the Raiders in Week 2. 

    Going forward there are three things the Raiders must do to solidify themselves as a playoff contender. 

3) Improve Upon Their First Down Ratio

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    In both Week 1 and Week 2 the Raiders gave up more first downs then they were able to get. 

    Denver converted 25 first downs in Week 1, while the Raiders only converted 20 first downs.

    Buffalo in Week 2 converted 34 first downs, while the Raiders only converted 26 first downs.

    This speaks to both their defense and their offense.

    The defense must limit the amount of first downs that they give up to get the ball back to the offense, and the offense must convert more first downs to keep the defense off the field.  

2) They Must Play Two Halves

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    One thing that is absolutely essential for the Raiders going forward is finishing games off. 

    As stated in the opening slide, the Raiders have had big leads at half time only to squander them in the second half. 

    In Week 1 the Raiders were up 16-3 at half, only to win the game 23-20. The Broncos had more than a few opportunities to win that game, but turnovers sealed their fate.

    Week 2 was the same story as the Raiders led 21-3 at half time only to lose 38-35. 

    Hue Jackson must enforce a four quarter mentality as the Raiders will continue to struggle going forward without finishing off games and playing two halves.  

1) Cut Down on the Penalties

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    This has been the Raiders achiles heel in recent years. 

    In Week 1 the Raiders totaled 15 penalties for 131 yards. The Raiders led the league in penalties in Week 1. 

    Week 2 was a bit better as the Raiders totaled eight penalties for 85 yards. That still isn't a good enough improvement for the Raiders. 

    Teams are getting free yards from the Raiders too often and the team must play more disciplined. Penalties weren't quite as much of a killer in Week 2, but still hurt the team nonetheless. 

    If the Raiders are going to make the playoffs in 2011, they must cut down on the penalties.