If you watch the how the season unfolds for the Oakland Raiders, you witness a star reminder about football. Whether you are an ardent, hardcore fan or the most casual supporter, certain things stick out. In an era where talent takes a backseat to flash, watching Raiders football remains the same. Alternatively, at least, it should be. Yet, with half of the season gone, questions for fans remain.
Do you watch?
Despite the Raiders sitting well out of playoff contention, the team still has eight games to play. Whether you believe in the tanking theory or not, understand that they are rebuilding. Within the construct of every rebuild reside losing. Granted, no one expected Oakland to rebuild again and gut the roster. However, this is what the team chose to do. Now, few outside of Alameda appreaciates this course of action. Meanwhile, fans that fork over larger sums of money must sit and watch. On the other hand, those at home could avoid the game altogether. While not ideal, this group of Raiders do have a few rookies to observe. First, Mo Hurst and PJ Hall should continue to improve. Granted, their snaps may not be in games with playoff indications.
What Should You Expect?
If you can erase the feeling and sadness of impending losses, individual players should stand out. Jalen Richard should merit consideration for a roster spot next year. After 2017, where fumbles erased a solid rookie campaign, Richard rebounded and rediscovered his 2016 form. With drive extending catches and the ability to make defenders miss, Richard shows promise. For all of the rightful grief that Jon Gruden endures, Richard remains one of his best holdovers. In addition, with a second lacking depth, hopefully Gareon Conley and Karl Joseph will see extended playing time.
In reality, 2018 remains a nightmare for the Raiders and their fans. While some players are playing for spots elsewhere, others could play a role in the future. For fans that sit through this mess, I salute you. It is difficult enough writing about it. Watching these games can be painful. Yet, with each new season bring the hope of February football one day. Now, the tough part remains enduring the misery.