Power Rankings: Don't look now, but the Raiders are on the rise

Happy Tuesday, Raider Nation.

The Power Rankings never mean anything, but it is fun to see where the Oakland Raiders rank, and entering Week 7 the team is on the rise.

The Silver and Black obviously didn’t play in Week 6, but the much-needed rest and rehabilitation didn’t stop them from rising in the Power Rankings. They face a tough test on the road this week in Green Bay, but let’s enjoy the moment and see where they sit currently.

Current Ranking: 18

Previous Ranking: 19

Analysis:

As we learned from Jon Gruden's instant-classic postgame speech from Tottenham Hotspur Stadium two Sundays ago, the Raiders players got a week off after reaching the bye at 3-2 following a huge win over the Bears. This felt like a wise decision by Chucky. The Raiders are in the midst of a 49-day stretch of games away from Oakland, and Oakland players could probably use some family-and-friends time right about now. Their last true home game was in Week 2 against the Chiefs. They won't return to the Black Hole until Week 9 against the Lions. Two players off to impressive starts for Oakland: Quarterback Derek Carr, whose 73.3 percent completion percentage is flirting with Drew Brees' all-time mark (74.4), and running back Josh Jacobs, who has the most rushing yards by a Raiders rookie through the team's first five games of the season (430).

Current Ranking: 18

Previous Ranking: 21

Analysis:

The Raiders catch a decent scheduling break this week. They’re coming off a bye, and taking on a Packers team that played on Monday night. That’s a lot of extra time. The Raiders, who will spend almost two months between games in Oakland, aren’t going to complain.

Current Ranking: 16

Previous Ranking: 15

Analysis:

The Raiders catch a decent scheduling break this week. They’re coming off a bye, and taking on a Packers team that played on Monday night. That’s a lot of extra time. The Raiders, who will spend almost two months between games in Oakland, aren’t going to complain.

Current Ranking: 18

Previous Ranking: 21

Analysis:

A funny thing happened on the way to another disappointing season in Oakland: The team got better.

So much better, in fact, that Oakland hit its bye week sitting at 3-2 in second place in the AFC West, just half a game behind the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Raiders have peeled off back-to-back wins over teams that entered the season as playoff contenders with something of an old-school game script: Run the ball with rookie tailback Josh Jacobs. Control tempo and time of possession. And make just enough plays defensively to get the W.

The Raiders still need work. This defense gave up a 28-point quarter to the Chiefs earlier this year. The team is better on that side of the ball, but still not especially good.

That said, while it might be a stretch to call the Raiders a legitimate playoff threat, it's not a stretch to say that moving forward, teams won't be looking past the Raiders. They won't pencil in an easy win when they see the Silver and Black on the schedule.

The Raiders are tomato cans no more.

Current Ranking: 18

Previous Ranking: 21

Analysis:

They come off their bye just a half game back of the Chiefs in the division race. But they face a brutal road game at Green Bay.

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