Week 8 is the bye week for the Oakland Raiders and it couldn't have come any sooner. While the Raiders are 4-3 going into the bye week, they must improve a few things if they wish to win the AFC West.
The Raiders schedule going forward is somewhat easy, considering they play four teams with records worse than .500. They also face off against the San Diego Chargers twice, which could determine the AFC West champion.
Oakland has gotten off to a decent start, but Hue Jackson and the team have huge expectations for the season. Improvements must be made and there is no better time than during the bye week.
Hue Jackson wouldn't call the Aaron Curry trade the second greatest trade in NFL history, but it still was an underrated trade for the Oakland Raiders.
Aaron Curry has jumped right into the Raiders' starting lineup and has recorded seven tackles. At 25 years old, Curry still has plenty of potential. His weakness, however, is pass defense.
Curry is in his third NFL season and is much more effective as a pass rusher and run stopper. It would be wise for the Raiders to get Curry in as many blitz packages as they can during the bye week.
In the Oakland Raiders' second game, Denarius Moore had his breakout game of the year against the Buffalo Bills. The Oakland Raiders rookie receiver had five catches for 146 yards and a touchdown.
Moore has accumulated 14 receptions, 212 yards and two touchdowns on the season. In the past three weeks, Moore has only totaled two catches for 14 yards.
Carson Palmer should help Moore going forward, but Hue Jackson must make it a goal to get the ball to Denarius. He has big-play potential written all over him and was a forgotten man after his breakout game.
Darren McFadden, Kevin Boss, Sebastian Janikowski, Michael Huff and Richard Seymour are just a few Oakland Raiders dealing with some type of injury.
Michael Huff and Richard Seymour were able to play against the Chiefs, but neither is quite yet 100 percent.
Darren McFadden suffered a sprained right foot, although he is expected to be play after the bye week.
Kevin Boss is dealing with a concussion, while Sebastian Janikowski is dealing with a hamstring injury.
Getting healthy will be key to an Oakland Raiders run at the AFC West title.
The Oakland Raiders pass defense is currently ranked 25th in the league allowing 266 yards per game. While the Raiders rush defense has improved, they must make improvements in the secondary.
Chris Johnson has only played in three games on the season due to a hamstring injury. He hasn't played since September 25th against the New York Jets.
Oakland is tied for 11th with seven interceptions on the season, but they still need to make improvements. They are also tied for third in the league allowing 12 passing touchdowns.
The Raiders need to get healthy in the secondary in order to succeed defensively going forward.
Priority No. 1 during the bye week, get Carson Palmer ready for the rest of the season. This is obviously the most important key for the Oakland Raiders going forward.
Palmer was obviously a bit rusty in his debut against the Kansas City Chiefs as he was 8-21 for 116 yards and three interceptions. One of those interceptions wasn't completely Carson Palmer's fault though.
Oakland's' passing game is currently ranked at 25th in the league with 206.3 yards per game. They must improve the passing game going forward to set up the running game.
Hue Jackson must do everything in his power to get Carson Palmer ready for the rest of the season.