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Answering Your Las Vegas Raiders Questions:  is the Season Over?

Each week we take the time to answer your questions about the Las Vegas Raiders.

HENDERSON, Nev.--The Las Vegas Raiders are in the midst of a disappointing 0-3 start to the 2022 season.

There is no fan base in the NFL more rabid than the Raider Nation and each week we take the time to answer your email and questions.  So let's get right to it.

Hondo, I heard after the Raiders' last debacle that Josh McDaniels and Mark Davis had a meeting.  Any idea what that was about?  Kendall T.

Yes, they did.  I reached out to someone close to the situation and I was told, "That is not anything new, and Mark Davis's faith in Josh McDaniels hasn't wavered one bit."

Hondo, do you think Andre James and Hunter Renfrow return this week?  Meghan S.

Yes, I expect them both to return this week.  I will be stunned if Andre isn't there, but 60-40 (yes) on Renfrow's return.

Hondo, do we win this week back at the Death Star against the donkeys?  Is the season over?  Help me find hope.  Kevin Weitz

Yes, I do believe the Raiders right the ship, and no, I do not think that the season is over.  Far from it, I still think they make the playoffs.  More on reasons for optimism later in this article.

Hondo, what is wrong with Chandler Jones?  Do you have any clue at all?  Robert B.

I asked DC Patrick Graham about that specifically and he said, “Each year is different. When you watch the tape and see where people are having their production…everybody's looking for the statistics and stuff like that. The impact, one, off the field, two, the attention they bring that allows other people to play more freely. It's a long season and I know this, Chandler works hard. I know the only thing Chandler is worried about, just knowing him for a long time, is about wins. So, regardless of what the production was, or what it could have been, Chandler cares about winning. Just like the people here in this building, we care about winning. So, that's the number one thing. Once we start winning, we'll be happy there.”

Hondo, I really think what is missing for our offense is speed.  Tyron Johnson is that guy.  Why in the world isn't he playing?  Mike W.

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I had the same question and I asked Mick Lombardi the OC about it.  Here is his answer, "T. Johnson has done a good job in camp, he obviously made the team being on the practice squad last year. He's really accepted the role as being a backup receiver on gameday. And just the way the cards have been dealt in terms of how the game's going, he hasn't been getting on the field a little bit. He obviously produced a lot in the preseason. I think the biggest thing for him is just making sure that he comes in and making sure he knows what to do, how to do it, and then consistently show that on the practice field, which he's done a good job of, and his opportunity will come. I coached a young guy by the name of Jakobi Meyers in New England, and he was inactive for two games and then didn't play until there was an injury, and his role as a reserve receiver was to come in there and produce. He obviously did that in New England back in 2020, and he never let go. So, I think for young guys like that who have that opportunity, it's when does the opportunity come? We don't know. But if he has some opportunities this week from his practice performance, then he'll get them."

Uncle Hondo, I love you brother.  You gotta help me.  When Josh McDaniels got here, you told us about how much of a guru he was in the red zone.  I know you are correct statistically so ain't accusing you of carrying his water.  I just want to know what happened.  Tom K.

That is a great question and it was asked of OC Mick Lombardi.  He said,  "We're getting down there in the red area, which is a good thing. We just got to do a better job finishing drives, and I think the balance that we have on offense needs to continue down there. We got to do a better job executing and then do a better job of putting those players in a position to execute. So, when we get down there, we can't fall behind in down distance, can't have any penalties. And then we obviously have to execute the small, little details of that area of the field. Whether that's run or pass, we got to try to make sure everybody does their job, and we execute the best play possible. And then again, it comes down to four-point plays. I think Coach [McDaniels] talked about that here moving forward the other day, is when you get down there it's third and goal at the four, you don't get it, you kick a field goal – difference of four points. So, we got to make sure we focus on the four-point plays moving forward and make sure we're ready to go for those. If we can improve on those, I think we'll see improvement in the red zone."

Hondo, I love my Raiders.  I also am frustrated.    What do you think is the issue, we stink.  Chris P.

I don't think this team stinks.  They have been the reason they lost the first three games.  All winnable games.  This team has hurt themselves with unforced errors, but they haven't quit.

I asked Josh McDaniels about the unforced errors costing them.  He said, First of all, I believe in our group 100 percent. I believe in them because they've proven to me in practice and they've shown it to me over and over, that we can do those things. Winning in the NFL is hard. We know that and that's our job. We got to win. And so, there's no shortcut to it. We do believe that if we execute it out there on the practice field that we have a good chance to execute it right in the game. And just continue to build our trust, our communication, our execution, because let's face it, there's three or four plays in every game that change the outcome. And those plays may have happened in the second quarter, they may have happened in the third quarter. Everybody points to the last play, that two-point conversion or whatever it is. There are other opportunities in the game, offensively, defensively, in the kicking game, that could easily have swung the game one way or the other. We got to look at each opportunity, regardless of when it happens, as an opportunity for us to gain an advantage in the game and ultimately win. It doesn't have to come down to the last play, or the last drive, or the last series. It’s just our overall execution from the beginning to the end, that's what we're going to need to work on to try to improve and make winning plays all four quarters.”

If you have a question, please email me at SpartanNationMail@yahoo.com and put in the subject Raiders Q/A.

The Las Vegas Raiders return to action next Sunday, as they play host at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas to their AFC rivals the Denver Broncos. That game kicks off at 4:25 PM PDT and can be seen on CBS.

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