Raiders Secure First Road Win Under Head Coach Jack Del Rio

When Head Coach Jack Del Rio handles his media responsibilities this week he won't be asked about his team not winning on the road or their inability to notch a win in the Eastern time zone – Charles Woodson made sure of that, when the veteran safety sealed Sunday's game with a last second interception of Browns quarterback Josh McCown.

With the win, the Silver and Black move to 2-1 on the young season, but the win registers as more than just a victory over a conference foe; it also snaps a set of streaks that have been hanging over the head of the team dating back 30 years.

Prior to Sunday's 27-20 win at FirstEnergy Stadium, the Raiders hadn't won in Cleveland since October of 1985 and had not been able to win any game in the Eastern time zone since December 6, 2009 when they beat the Steelers 27-24 at Heinz Field.

But those teams were not Jack Del Rio's Raiders.

Jack Del Rio's Raiders are resilient and respond when punched in the mouth – just look no further than their Week 2 performance against the Baltimore Ravens.

"We understood right off the bat that he [Del Rio] was coming in to change the way things were done around the Raiders organization from a team standpoint," said Charles Woodson postgame. "He didn't mince words about what he wanted, what he needed, what he wanted to see and I think you see some of those things coming to fruition now."

While Sunday's win was important for a young team trying to build momentum, in the bigger picture, the win over the Browns symbolizes a cultural shift in Oakland – a shift that Head Coach Del Rio has continually talked about since being hired in January.

"This is just what [Head Coach] Jack [Del Rio] has been talking about all offseason, coming into the season, that we have to change the culture of football around here," Woodson postgame. "You guys know as well as I know the last couple of years, these games, we don't pull them out. The last couple of weeks to pull out a tough game is really huge for this team."

And the future Hall of Famer is spot on, as the importance of a game like Sunday's can't be overstated.

If the Raiders fell, the team would be sitting at 1-2 feeling like an opportunity slipped through their fingers, but these are not the Raiders of the recent past.

These are Jack Del Rio's Raiders.

"Change has come," DJ Hayden said. "Change has come and it feels good, man. I haven't won two games back-to-back in a long time, so it definitely feels good to win and we're just looking forward to the next one."

While players were quick to note that the season isn't even a quarter complete, and Sunday's game is just another chapter in their story, it's hard to ignore that the third stanza is a good read.

"Coach Del Rio has talked about how we write our own chapter every week, and so coming into this week we had no thoughts of the past," TJ Carrie said. "We were just looking on the present, and in the present we set another chapter and we came on the road and had a W."

"I just feel like this year we're just fighting, man," Hayden added. "I feel like not only the players, but the coaches, we're all fighting. We're all fighting and grinding and we're not giving up."

Streaks aside, the Raiders will now enter their Week 4 tilt with the Chicago Bears in the Windy City brimming with confidence and with the chance to put together a three-game winning streak.

Not only that, they'll fly east to Chicago knowing how it feels to take care of business in a hostile environment – something that hasn't been felt in the Raiders locker room in several seasons.

"Don't be afraid of success," Woodson said when asked about his advice to his younger teammates. "Don't be afraid to have people say good things about you. We'll take that mindset into next week and throughout the rest of the season."

While Sunday's game in Cleveland might only count as one win in the win column, the lasting impact of it has the ability to loom much larger for the 2015 Raiders.

The Raiders goals are, and naturally should be, bigger than a Week 3 road win in Cleveland, but it's not a bad place to start.

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