By Danny Cox
The last time the Oakland Raiders won a game after a bye week, it was 2002. That is one whole decade of futility following bye weeks, and the weird part is that the Raiders actually play better after a bye but just end up facing a team that plays a little bit better than that.
Coach Dennis Allen has brought a new regime to the Silver and Black, and he is hoping that that will also bring about changes with everything. Everyone on the team is completely aware of the losing streak and Allen touched on that.
"I think we're all aware of that, but, like I told the players today, the past has no relevance to the future," Allen said. "Any of the outcomes that have happened after a bye in the past won't dictate how we go out and play against Pittsburgh. What's going to dictate how we go out and play against Pittsburgh is how well we prepare during the week, and then how well do we go out and execute that plan on Sunday."
2002 was also the last year that the Oakland Raiders got to the playoffs, so it is obvious that going further back; those teams were better than the past 10.
Last year, the Raiders came out of a bye to face the undefeated Atlanta Falcons and lost by a mere three points, 23-20. It was a very close game and one that was totally unexpected, because the Raiders were only 1-3 at the time and the Falcons were streaking.
One of the players that could benefit greatly from the bye week is quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who had a rough last game against the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. Allen believes that the bye week wasn't used so much to just heal up injuries and get added rest, but to look back on things and reflect upon what happened in the first six weeks of the season.
Allen feels as if the bye week was a good chance to Pryor to realize that everyone in the NFL has a tough game here and there, but that shouldn't have any bearing on what he does in the future.
There are some injuries that the Raiders are dealing with, but that is every single team in the league right now. The bye week could not have come at a better time.
Coach Allen is confident in his team and the players that are there and healthy. It's actually quite the change from what the Raiders have seen in the past. He knows they're playing a hot Steelers team, but he has faith in everyone that is wearing silver and black, and feels that this 10-year streak will come to an end.
For more Raiders news and updates, visit Raiders Central.
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.
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