Power Rankings: Experts break down the Raiders Week 1 performance

It’s the start of a new year, which means it’s time to fire up the first edition of the Power Rankings.

Now, before we get into where everyone ranks, may I remind everyone that none of these actually matter.

The Oakland Raiders made a lot of moves this offseason, and a lot of people took notice. Expectations around the Silver and Black are a little muddled, but the team proved on Monday Night Football that they’re ready to compete, as they dominated the Denver Broncos.

Tyrell Williams and Darren Waller had strong offensive performances, as well as rookie running back Josh Jacobs. I think it’s fair to say the Raiders surprised a lot of people this week, and it should reflect in the power rankings; let’s take a look.

Current Ranking: 20

Previous Ranking: 25

Analysis:

Antonio who? The Raiders looked just fine without their tempestuous would-be star wide receiver. In fact, they looked pretty great. Jon Gruden's team took it to the Broncos at a raucous Black Hole, bullying Denver on both sides of the ball in a clean and efficient win. Speaking of clean and efficient, Derek Carr was nearly perfect behind center, finishing 22-for-26 while averaging a robust 10 yards per attempt. Tyrell Williams went over 100 yards with a touchdown in his debut as Oakland's surprise No. 1 receiver, and the Raiders' offensive line had no problem neutralizing Denver's supposedly fearsome pass rush. Oakland's defense also answered the bell, limiting the Broncos' offense to three field goals and a late touchdown that functioned as lipstick on a pig for a moribund Denver attack.

Current Ranking: 23

Previous Ranking: 26

Analysis:

Jacobs, who never carried the ball more than 20 times in a game at Alabama and rushed only 251 times total in college, showed he was more than ready for prime time. His patience, vision and cutting ability kept Broncos edge rushers Von Miller and Bradley Chubb at bay. And Jacobs' 85 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries proved him prophetic -- his play spoke for itself.

Current Ranking: 23

Previous Ranking: 26

Analysis:

It's impossible to rationalize the Raiders becoming a competitive team in 2019 after all the offseason drama they've endured. Maybe it rallies the locker room. Maybe it derails the season. It's still way too early to know.

Current Ranking: 24

Previous Ranking: 28

Analysis:

The Raiders' eight-point win over the rival Broncos comes with a caveat (Denver is awful), but there's no denying it provided reason for optimism for a team that went 4-12 last year in Jon Gruden's first season back in town.

Quarterback Derek Carr misfired on just four of his 26 passes.

Tyrell Williams looked the part of a No. 1 wide receiver for one game at least, catching six passes for 105 yards and a score.

Rookie tailback Josh Jacobs was fantastic in his NFL debut, piling up 113 total yards and finding the end zone twice.

And a pass rush that recorded all of 13 sacks last season dropped Joe Flacco three times.

Current Ranking: 21

Previous Ranking: 27

Analysis:

Give Jon Gruden credit. Even through all the Antonio Brown drama, he had his team ready to play against Denver. But now here come the Chiefs.

Hall of Famer Ted Hendricks presented Raiders defensive end Clelin Ferrell with the Ted Hendricks Award. Ferrell earned the award after being named college football's top defensive end for the 2018 season.

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