Power Rankings: Raiders handle business back at the Coliseum

Sunday's 31-24 win over the Detroit Lions was a thriller, as the Oakland Raiders put on an offensive showcase and made some major defensive stops when they needed to. On a short week, the Silver and Black will try and prepare for the division-rival Chargers, who are coming off an impressive win over the Green Bay Packers. Before the two clash on Thursday Night Football, let's take a look at this week's power rankings.

Current Ranking: 16

Previous Ranking: 19

Analysis:

Sunday's thrilling 31-24 win over the Lions must have felt like a fever dream for Raiders general manager Mike Mayock. Oakland scored four touchdowns in the game -- all of them by rookies. Running back Josh Jacobs bolstered his Offensive Rookie of the Year candidacy with two scores, fifth-round wideout Hunter Renfrow scored for the second time in as many weeks and tight end Foster Moreau hit pay dirt for the third time. It's a reminder of what a great job the Mayock/Jon Gruden leadership council has done rebuilding the roster on the fly. It's a fun offense to watch: Derek Carr is playing the best football since his magical 2016 season, and the offensive line is protecting the quarterback and blowing open huge holes for the running game. With a favorable schedule over the next three weeks, the Raiders are a real player in the AFC wild-card race. How about that?

Current Ranking: 16

Previous Ranking: 19

Analysis:

It's no secret the Raiders have a hard time stopping the pass. And facing the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Kirk Cousins, Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson and Matthew Stafford in the first half of the season didn't help. But unless Oakland's defense improves on its passer rating against figure, the third worst in the NFL, things could go south in a hurry for a team with an eye on making the playoffs. It's about pass rush and coverage working hand in hand to disrupt not only the quarterback, but the receivers too. We're not talking about pitching shutouts -- there just has to be marked improvement to lessen the stress.

Current Ranking: 16

Previous Ranking: 20

Analysis:

Derek Carr’s last 18 games: 4,250 yards, 25 touchdowns, six interceptions, 68.8 completion percentage, 100.7 passer rating. And a lot of those games came last season when he was working with a terrible cast of receivers. Carr might be the most underrated player in the NFL, considering everyone decided less than two months into last season that he was a lost cause and haven’t bothered to notice he has been pretty good since then.

Current Ranking: 16

Previous Ranking: 19

Analysis:

The Oakland Raiders are in relatively uncharted waters after beating the Detroit Lions in Week 9. The Raiders are 4-4—just one back of the division-leading Chiefs in the AFC West.

Rookie tailback Josh Jacobs came up huge yet again in the win over the Lions, with 28 carries, 120 yards and two touchdowns. At the halfway mark of his first season, the former Alabama standout is averaging almost five yards a carry and is on a pace that would bring him up just shy of 1,500 yards for the season.

The Raiders are also well-positioned to keep the good times rolling. Next week's matchup with the Chargers presents a stiff test after what the Bolts did to the Green Bay Packers, but the two games that follow come against Jets and Bengals teams that have combined for all of one win in 2019.

The Raiders could easily be 6-5 (or maybe even 7-4) when their Week 13 rematch with the division-leading Chiefs rolls around.

In other words, Oakland could be playing meaningful games in December—just like exactly no one predicted.

Current Ranking: 15

Previous Ranking: 17

Analysis:

Don't look now but the Raiders are 4-4 heading into a big Thursday night game with the Chargers. The offense has come alive.

Take a look at the the best images from the Raiders' Week 9 victory over the Detroit Lions in their return to the Coliseum.

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