If there’s any team that could use a win in Week 10, it’s the Raiders.
For the third time this season, Las Vegas blew a lead of at least 17 points in last week’s loss to Jacksonville, dropping the club’s record to 2-6. Then the club placed key offensive contributors Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow on injured reserve. And then linebacker Blake Martinez elected to retire after playing 91 percent of the team’s defensive snaps last week.
And by the way, this week’s opponent just fired its coach and hired a legendary player from the franchise who was serving as a television analyst to be the interim head coach.
Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels said Friday that losing players for a stretch of time, or the season, is part of the game. And he still feels positive about what his team has put on the field in preparing for Indianapolis.
“The energy we’ve had at practice this week has been special. And I think that’s a tribute to the guys,” McDaniels said in his press conference. “We know where we’re at. We know what the situation is. We didn’t want to be in this situation, but it is what it is. We’re the ones that put us here. So, we’re the ones that are going to dig us out, too.
“So, I think not focusing on just the results that we’ve seen or the things that are going on around us — look, it’s a long season. There are a lot of things that are going to happen from now until the end of the season that none of us know. And so, to get distracted easily by all the different things that happen in the National Football League on a week-to-week basis, that would not demonstrate mental toughness. And I think we have a mentally tough group.”
By any measure, the Raiders should beat the Colts this weekend after all the changes Indianapolis has experienced since Monday. But that doesn’t mean they will.
It will be quite a story if Las Vegas ends up falling to 2-7 after Week 10.