It is a somewhat rare occasion when the Oakland Raiders are televised on FOX. As an AFC team, most of the Raiders games throughout any given season air on CBS. FOX typically carries NFC games. Since the Minnesota Vikings are a visiting NFC team this week, the FOX crew, including the broadcast team of Chris Myers and Ronde Barber, are in Oakland to call this Sunday's game.
The Raiders have received a quite a bit of national attention the last several weeks as the Silver and Black Attack puts up yards and points and rockets up the power rankings.
Barber and Myers concur that it is the Raiders 8th ranked offense that has everyone's attention.
"They've got an explosive offense, they've got a good runner, they do some good things on defense, they do some bad things on defense, they're a competitive team that I like watching, I like the players, personnel," Barber said. "It helps when you have a franchise quarterback with a big arm and great targets. People notice the flash in the game, that's what you're getting out of Derek [Carr] and Amari [Cooper] and [Michael] Crabtree, they're guys whose names jump out at you. Obviously, winning some games helps."
Raiders look back on a victorious 1977 Super Bowl XI as the Minnesota Vikings come to Oakland in Week 10. Oakland bested Minnesota 32-14 on January 9, 1977, earning the franchise's first championship title.
"It's funny how people are saying 'boy, this Derek Carr is really coming on,' and he is, we saw that last year in the win we called against San Francisco, for a rookie quarterback to be as poised as he was to have the release and the arm, now of course, he's got a little bit more around him with the head coach and the leadership," Myers said. "With Jack Del Rio I think [you] hit on somebody who is taking advantage of not only Derek Carr, but to help this Raider defense improve as well. You kept hearing well we're waiting for the same old Raiders, and they're not the same old Raiders. I think Carr exhibits that. I have no qualms about this Raiders offense, I think it's as good as any offense we've seen in the league this year."
Barber is impressed with the Raiders outside receivers, Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree.
"Great route runners, Amari is very adept at the subtleties of the game already, which is pretty interesting," Barber said. "Michael has a lot of suddenness in his route running, it's easy to see how he sets up DBs and creates separation. They've both got good hands, Amari has some inexplicable drops here and there, watching film I can't believe he's dropping some of these balls, they're ability to get open is really helping their quarterback."
Photos from the Raiders vs Vikings all-time series.
Myers waxed a bit nostalgic with regard to what is happening with the Raiders offense.
"As a youngster I recall Daryle Lamonica and the transition from the Mad Bomber to Kenny Stabler, so Raider offenses of the past, Derek Carr brings that back for me," Myers said. "You have this Raiders offense that I think can score with anybody against one of the best defenses in the game. We've seen the Vikings a few times."
Although it's the offense that is grabbing the headlines, Barber is curious to see how the defense bounces back after last week in Pittsburgh. Myers also added that he's interested in seeing how the Raiders defense deals with Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.
It may be a rare trip, but both Myers and Barber enjoy covering the Raiders in Oakland.
"We did the game last year," Myers said. "Always loved coming to Oakland since I live in southern California."
"This is a treat every time I come out here," Barber added.
Barber is definitely among those who believe the NFL is a better place when the Raiders are making noise.
"I like when this team is good," Barber said. "They got the talent and some name recognition and people are wanting to pay attention."
You can catch Myers and Barber on the call, along with sideline reporter Holly Sonders, this Sunday on FOX (KTVU FOX 2 in the Bay Area) with kickoff set for 1:05 p.m. PT.