OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 23: Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the Oakland Raiders drops back to pass against the Kansas City Chiefs in the fourth quarter on October 23, 2011 at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, California. The Chiefs won 28-0. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
The Oakland Raiders welcome this year's bye week with open arms as the team can use the time to get new quarterback Carson Palmer adjusted to the team and to let key injuries heal.
The Oakland Raiders bye week could not have come at a better time for the team. The Raiders are coming off of an humiliating loss at home to the Kansas City Chiefs and are in the process of installing a starting quarterback that has only been with the team for a little over a week now. In addition, the Raiders have a number of injuries to starters that will hopefully have time to heal over the bye.
The most crucial reason the bye has come at a perfect time for the Raiders is because it will allow Carson Palmer to become more familiar with the play book and his new pass catching targets. There have already been reports surfacing that the Raiders young corps of wide receivers have decided to forgo any trips during the bye week in order to remain in Oakland and work with their new quarterback. As his first appearance showed, Palmer is clearly not very familiar with the playbook yet and still needs to build chemistry with his new group of receivers. Two weeks working on the passing game together should do wonders for the Raiders offense once they get back to playing games when they host the Denver Broncos after the bye.
The bye week also comes at the perfect time because the Raiders have injuries to key players. Starting running back Darren McFadden and starting middle linebacker Rolando McClain both sustained injuries in the loss to Kansas City. In addition to those players, tight end Kevin Boss sustained a concussion in that game and a hamstring injury prevented kicker Sebastian Janikowski from playing in the game. All four of these players are crucial to the success of the Raiders and the team hopes that the bye week will provide enough time for them to heal and be ready for the Denver Broncos on November 6th.
The Raiders had been enjoying a revival of sorts before their lopsided loss to Kansas City. For the first time in years, the Raiders were commonly mentioned in discussions about the playoffs, and not as the butt of a joke. However, a loss like the one they sustained against the Chiefs is the kind that can really screw with the psyche of a team. The bye week should provide the team time to get over the painful loss and get back on track to get to the playoffs for the first time since the Gruden Bowl.