By COVER32 STAFF
As we look forward to the stretch run in the AFC, several questions jump to mind. Joining the discussion today are Kyle Hirshkind (Cover32 Jets), Andy Hammel (Cover32 Bengals) and Mike D’Abate (Cover32 Chargers).
How would you fix the Raiders?
Hirshkind: The Raiders have been a massive question mark in my mind all year. When I say that, I mean I can’t really figure out the problem. It’s like one of those impossible math questions your middle school teacher would give you for extra credit homework, and you may spend too much time trying to figure it out. To me, the Raiders’ struggles are minuscule ones, which, similarly to the Jets, are taking a toll on their overall record. Some areas where I think Oakland needs to clean up a bit: play calling, deep coverage, and running attack. In my opinion, the Raiders are getting beat in all of those areas on a weekly basis, and for some reason they aren’t addressing it even though they have the potential pieces to patch them up.
Hammel: Start with the defense: the back seven needs a talent infusion, especially at linebacker and cornerback. NaVorro Bowman is ideally a two-down player at this point in his career, and the guys behind him are hardly better in coverage. Reggie Nelson, the veteran of the group and the only defensive back to be on the field for 100% of Oakland’s defensive snaps, has been solid. Karl Joseph has as well, and Obi Melifonwu is set to return from injury. The cornerbacks have been bad. David Amerson and T.J. Carrie aren’t a starting combination, while Sean Smith hasn’t lived up to his free agency billing. 2017 first-round pick Gareon Conley has been invisible, especially next to fellow rookies Marshon Lattimore and Tre’Davious...