The five biggest questions facing the Oakland Raiders

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The five biggest questions facing the Oakland Raiders

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Kirby Lee- US PRESSWIRE

Any time a team struggles, there are dozens of questions people want answers to. The most obvious one is why is this team doing so poorly. There is no real answer to that question and any of the questions fans ask after a troubling start.

This list goes over five questions you can ask of theOakland Raiders after four weeks. We discuss the future and what Oakland can change to get better results. However, we focus on individuals or units not the team as a whole or a specific side of the ball. These individualized questions get to the heart of what is wrong with the Raiders.

We discussed the highs and lows of this season for Oakland, but these types of lists don’t hit at the heart of the issue. We want to look at what is happening and why and how a change will affect the Raiders in the future. None of the questions asked in the subsequent slides actually have answers and we will reevaluate this list as the season progresses.

Oakland has many holes and many questions about who should start and who should play, but we won’t get into that. We look at the conceptual things like how can one player improve his performance or how a unit will gel with one another. These are the types of questions we can easily evaluate as the season goes along.

Stay tuned Sunday for a recap of AFC West action and how it all affects Oakland and its slim playoff chances.

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5. Can the offensive line come together?

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Steve Mitchell- US PRESSWIRE

The offensive line is a big part of the success of an offense. The Raiders' line has not been good this season and Oakland has a 1-3 record. If the offensive line can come together and create holes for the running back and protect the quarterback, the Raiders will have more success. But if they fail to create openings and keep the pass rush away from the backfield, it will be a long year for the Raiders.

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4. Can Carson Palmer throw more touchdowns without more interceptions?

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Ron Chenoy- US PRESSWIRE

Palmer has done a great job this season at protecting the football. However, he has only thrown five touchdown passes, three of which came in the same game. For the amount of passing plays Oakland calls, Palmer has to throw more touchdown passes. If he does throw for more scores and limit the turnovers, Oakland will be able to win, it he can't the season will drag on and feel like forever.

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3. What type of impact will Andre Carter have on the line?

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Stew Milne- US PRESSWIRE

This signing could be the difference in a subpar defensive line and an aggressive defensive line. Carter can get after the quarterback, something the Raiders struggle with this season. However, if Carter ignites the spark in Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly and the defensive line stops the run and get pressure on the quarterback it will help the defense exponentially. If Carter falls into the same rut as the rest of the line, Oakland's defense will continue to be picked apart.

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2. How will the injury to Darrius Heyward-Bey affect the rest of the receivers?

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Ed Szczepanski- US PRESSWIRE

The injury to Heyward-Bey was ugly to watch and gave you a pit in your stomach. However, in this league you need to be able to move on and play football. The Raiders' wide receivers must find a way to elevate their play in face of this injury and not sulk because of it. The receiving corps has not been good of late and the injury to Heyward-Bey seemed to have done more harm than good to their psyche. If they don't wake up and play football, Palmer will have a long season trying to find targets.

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1. Will Darren McFadden return to his form from last season?

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Kirby Lee- US PRESSWIRE

There is no bigger question that where the running game has gone. Last season, McFadden had 600 yards, four touchdowns and a 5.4 yards per carry average in seven games. Through four games this year- 200 yards, one score and 3.5 yards per carry. Oakland desparately needs to get McFadden going and get him back to what he was last season. If McFadden stays average, the Raiders won't win many games. If he can channel last season's performance, like he did in Oakland's sole win, this season could get a lot more injury.


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