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Raiders vs. Falcons: Oakland hopes to win first post bye week game since 2002

The Oakland Raiders do not have history on their side when it comes to success after the bye week.

Doug Pensinger - Getty Images

The Oakland Raiders have not won their first game after a bye week since 2002, the year that they went to the Super Bowl. Since then, the Raiders endured one of the worst spans of play in NFL history, but finally appeared as though they were coming out of it the past few years. After back to back 8-8 seasons, the most recent of which likely would have been better had the Raiders not lost their starting quarterback and starting running back to season ending injuries.

Coming into the 2012 season, the Raiders had high hopes for what the team could accomplish. The Raiders had boasted a top 10 offense, even after losing Darren McFadden and Jason Campbell. Their defense, on the other hand, was horrific. Many thought that the choice of a defensive head coach in Dennis Allen would help improve the defense and that would be enough to push the Raiders over the top and into the playoffs.

The problem is, those hopes were based on a reality where the Raiders offense was, well, a lot more competent than it has been so far in 2012. Now, after a very disappointing first quarter of the season, the Raiders hope to overcome not only a history of losing this season, but a history of losing after the bye week that spans nine years. Unfortunately for the Raiders, they will be going up against one of the best teams in the NFL early in the 2012 season in the Atlanta Falcons.