Power Rankings: Raiders climb as they ride three-game winning streak

The Silver and Black did what needed to be done at home, pulling off three wins at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, including one game against a division rival.

It feels like in every breakdown, NFL analysts are pleasantly surprised to see the Raiders succeeding in 2019, given all the adversity the team faced to kickoff the year. Head Coach Jon Gruden and General Manager Mike Mayock have used young talent to catapult this team into the playoff discussion; let's take a look at where the team ranks in this week's edition of the Power Rankings.

Current Ranking: 12

Previous Ranking: 14

Analysis:

Another win and another big performance from the Baby Raiders. Maxx Crosby, a fourth-round pick who played a key role in Week 10's win over the Chargers, had four sacks in Sunday's 17-10 win over the Bengals. Crosby, who we got to know initially as a good-natured kid fighting through a meddlesome hand injury this summer on Hard Knocks, becomes just the second NFL rookie since 1988 to have four sacks in a game. One play after Crosby took down Ryan Finley for the final time, second-round cornerback Trayvon Mullen effectively ended the game with an interception, the first of his career. This feels like an appropriate space to mention that first-round running back Josh Jacobs went over 100 yards rushing for the fourth time this season. Mike Mayock's debut draft class could become the stuff of legend in Raiders lore. At 6-4, a path to the playoffs is in sight.

Current Ranking: 15

Previous Ranking: 17

Analysis:

Sure, the rookie was a second-round draft pick, but many observers wondered if the Raiders were too high on him when they traded away a former first-rounder in Gareon Conley midseason to elevate Mullen. Turns out, the Raiders' instincts have been on the mark. Mullen still is growing into the role, no doubt, but while he has been a step or so short on a pair of pick-sixes over the past few weeks, he sealed the Raiders' win against the Bengals on Sunday with a pick of Ryan Finley.

Current Ranking: 12

Previous Ranking: 13

Analysis:

The Raiders’ draft has been the difference in them being a playoff contender. It hasn’t been perfect — aside from one big game from Clelin Ferrell, Ferrell over Josh Allen still looks dubious — but the Raiders have gotten contributions from many rookies this season. Given that GM Mike Mayock’s fingerprints seemed to be all over the draft, give him some credit. And credit Jon Gruden too, since he has ultimate power in the organization.

Current Ranking: 13

Previous Ranking: 14

Analysis:

There is no shortage of surprises in any season, and 2019 is no exception.

But even by NFL standards, the Oakland Raiders' play has been eyebrow-raising. After holding off a game Bengals squad Sunday in Oakland, the Raiders have reeled off three straight victories to move to 6-4. They're tied for the AFC's No. 6 seed—one year after going 4-12.

Oakland quarterback Derek Carr is completing 72.3 percent of his passes with three times as many touchdowns as interceptions and has a 105.2 passer rating. Tailback Josh Jacobs is averaging 4.8 yards per carry and is just 77 yards shy of 1,000 for the season. An Oakland pass rush that managed just 13 sacks last year has 10 over the past two games.

The Raiders are legit.

Current Ranking: 9

Previous Ranking: 10

Analysis:

They have made strides on defense and the offense can score points. Can they win the division?

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