It’s Week 12 and the Raiders are 6-4.
The Raiders were at the same exact spot a year ago.
They would end up finishing 7-9, their lone win against the Chargers.
Just like last year, the Silver and Black have been dealing with injury all season long. Just like last year, the defense has been struggling to make tackles and break down at times.
What’s different this year?
Quarterback Derek Carr says for him and general manager Mike Mayock, something feels different.
“Me and Mr. Mayock, I said the same words to him in our conversation the other day, ‘you know we were 6-4 last year?’” Carr said. “And I said, ‘Yeah, but this feels different.’ And he said, ‘I agree.’ I think we both feel that it’s different. There’s just something about this team; the teams we’ve lost to, how we’ve lost and things like that. The teams that we’ve played with and beat and things like that. We’re definitely a better team this year, but we right now have to, and I mean have to, finish this season better than we did last year. And I believe that we will.”
It has been a completely different season. For one, the offense figured out how to function without two vital members: Guard Richie Incognito and tackle Trent Brown.
That was not the case last year.
For two, Carr is much more confident in the pocket this season compared to last year. The stats won’t show necessarily show it, but he has the ability to slip pockets, throw it deep and buy himself time much better than last season.
As for head coach Jon Gruden, he’s taking the completely opposite approach. He doesn’t care what the record says. It’s all about getting better every game.
“I could care less about 6-4,” Gruden said. “I just care what we do at the end… We have a long way to go. We’re making progress. We’re making signs on offense and we’re showing some things on defense. We just have to play a lot better together. We have to keep building our franchise and keep working with these players and trying to get them to play and perform better and better and better.”
Whether it’s Mayock and Carr realizing that something is different this year of Gruden’s mentality improving on a weekly basis, at the end of the day, one thing is for certain.
Raider Nation surely feels different.
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