The Oakland Raiders are in the middle of a tough 2017/2018 season. They are third in the AFC West with a 3-4 record, and their losses all have a recurring theme: breakdowns on defense. Every time the offense scores, the defense can't stop the other team from tying the score. Opposing teams average nearly 20 points per game against the Raiders.

Defensive struggles

There are several holes in the defense that caused scoring opportunities for the other team. The linebackers are targetted every game by the other team's offense. Particularly in the middle of the field, coverage is weak and that is where most yards are gained.

In order to remedy the situation, they've drafted linebackers to train them into stars but, improvement is slow.

The defensive line is another liability. Their starters have potential but haven't proven themselves worthy of their position. Their best defensive linemen, Dan Williams, is a free agent now and the Raiders depend on a weak defensive line with poor depth. They don't have enough reliable players to rotate efficiently and, team performance is affected.

On paper, the Raiders' secondary should be a strength of the team. Reggie Nelson, David Amerson, and Sean Smith are pro bowl level defensive backs who are only improving. In addition, there are several athletes on the practice team that can compete for the position.

However, the secondary has given up multiple big plays throughout the season. They have not played to the level of expectations set. The secondary is young so hopefully, they will grow.

Marshawn Lynch ejection

On Thursday, Marshawn Lynch left the game after being ejected. He was ejected in the second quarter after running on the field and grabbing a referee. Contact with a referee is an automatic ejection from the game.

Both the Raiders and Chiefs organizations expressed disappointment in the events that unfolded. Reporters are saying that the NFL is considering a possible fine or suspension as punishment.

The cause of this incident is from a late hit on Raiders' quarterback, Derek Carr. Chiefs' cornerback, Marcus Peters, was penalized for unnecessary roughness against Carr.

Several offensive linemen for the Raiders did not appreciate the late hit due to Carr's injury situation and, an altercation ensued. Marshawn Lynch and Marcus Peters are both from Oakland and friends, so Lynch ran onto the field to defuse the situation. While pushing through to reach Peters, this is when Lynch pushed the referee.

Luckily, the Raiders were able to win the game without Lynch, who watched the rest of the game from the stands. However, his actions were detrimental to the team. The Raiders barely won against the Chiefs with a final score 31-30. Coming into the game, the Kansas City Chiefs had the best record in the league at 5-1. The Raiders can't afford their players getting ejected against any team, let alone ones that top the power rankings. Getting paid $9 million for two years, Lynch needs to play as much as he can to prove he's worth the money now.