The Las Vegas Raiders are 5-3 and in a deadlocked AFC West division where every team has five wins.
The Chargers and Raiders are both 5-3, and the Chiefs and Broncos are 5-4.
After going 3-0 to start the season, the Raiders have cooled down and are 2-3 in recent weeks.
The recent Raiders’ slide should have fans concerned particularly with the AFC West competition so tight.
Here are three reasons why Raiders fans should be worried about their team.
1. Off-The-Field Turmoil
The Raiders have had more than normal off-the-season turmoil in the early parts of the 2021 season.
Former head coach Jon Gruden resigned after his leaked emails showed inappropriate and racist language.
These leaked emails had nothing to do with the Raiders; they were somehow released as part of the NFL’s investigation into the Washington Football Team.
It is still odd how his emails were the only ones that seemed to get public viewing.
Gruden has now initiated a lawsuit against the NFL.
Former #Raiders coach Jon Gruden is suing the NFL and Roger Goodell in Nevada district court, alleging they sought to destroy Gruden’s career and reputation through a “malicious and orchestrated campaign” that led to his resignation last month, Gruden’s attorney tells me.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 12, 2021
If that is not bad enough, the tragedy involving wide receiver Henry Ruggs is even worse.
Now-former NFL LV Raiders WR Henry Ruggs III makes an initial appearance in Justice Court in Las Vegas on Wednesday
Ruggs was driving his Corvette at 156mph before colliding with the victim's Car
Probation is not an option in Nevada, a possible sentence of two to 20 years pic.twitter.com/ueLkwZOCNV
— Lilian Chan (@bestgug) November 3, 2021
It involves the loss of life of a woman related to his car accident on November 2 at 3:40 am.
Ruggs is being charged with driving under the influence; his blood alcohol level was reportedly 0.16, twice the legal limit in Nevada.
He has since been released from the team, but the emotional toll from Gruden and Ruggs has to be exhausting for the Raiders players.
2. Loss To The Giants
Inexplicably, the Raiders lost in Week 10 to the New York Giants.
The Giants are just 3-6 and not playing well.
The Raiders were leading the game 13-10 at halftime but could not get anything going on offense in the second half.
They only added a field goal in the third quarter.
Quarterback Derek Carr threw two costly interceptions in the game.
❌ 🙌 @mckinney15__
— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) November 7, 2021
The Raiders have to win these games because they are presumably the better team.
3. Habitually Fade In The Second Half Of The Season
Raiders go 2-6 in Las Vegas.
Raiders will not have a winning season for the 17th time in 18 seasons.
Raiders collapse in the 2nd half of the season for the 2nd straight year.#RaiderNation
— Matt Gutierrez 🥃 (@SportsAdrenalin) December 27, 2020
Potentially the biggest concern for the Raiders fans is that they have seen this trend play out before over and over again.
Their team gets out to a great start and somehow figures out a way to give up all of that ground in the second half of the season.
No one knows why this happens.
Is it conditioning, discipline, or something else?
Given that this is the first season with 17 games, it should be a bigger concern for Raiders fans.
Raiders’ fans are conditioned to expect the worst.
The team is in a competitive position right now, but the next three games will be telling.
They need to clean up the mistakes from last week’s Giants game immediately.
Their upcoming schedule includes Week 10 vs. Kansas City, Week 11 vs. Cincinnati, and Week 12 at Dallas.
If the Raiders grab two or more wins in this three-game stretch, fans will be relieved and a lot less concerned about their team.NEXT: Derek Carr Making No Excuses For Raiders Loss To Giants