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Rival Report 7/28: Raiders putting rivals on notice but know they need to prove it on the field

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Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Normally we don't write about the Oakland Raiders in the rival report. It is a daily link dump that is supposed to be about the Raiders rivals and the rest of the NFL, however today is going to be a little different. Today, the Raiders are putting their rivals on notice and it's the focus of the Rival Report.

Why? Because there are not many interesting stories today and the best articles I came across were dedicated to the Raiders resurgence that is in full effect. The hype train has been moving full speed all off-season and it is officially time to point out that the rivals finally need to pay attention to the Silver and Black again.

The Denver Broncos are at the top of the NFL right now, they are the cream of the crop. Except they're not, they lost key pieces and everyone outside of their adrenaline rushed fans are expecting them to have a drop in production. Yeah, their defense is still going to be great but their offense is anybody's guess with Mark Sanchez at the helm, or Paxton Lynch at the helm, or Trevor Siemian at the helm.

For what it's worth though, the Raiders know they can't anoint themselves before they have earned it. The Broncos do deserve respect for being the Super Bowl champions and their QB situation isn't going to magically turn them into a toad for the upcoming season. Until the Raiders take it from them on the field, they need to keep their heads level.

That is exactly the type of approach that Bruce Irvin, newly signed linebacker for the Raiders, preached to Don Banks of Sports Illustrated. Irvin has been one of the most outspoken players this off-season about the improvements being made in Oakland but he stresses that the team needs to prove it on the field.

"This is a talented group, but it means nothing until we do it," Irvin said. "It's good people are talking about us, but you never want to buy into that type of stuff. We can be as good as we want to be, but we play in a good division and right now the Broncos are still the head team in our division. There's a lot of great things going on around here, but if we don't go and do it on the field, it's going to be just the same old Raiders, like the past so many years."

It's too early to be this excited but Raider Nation can't help it, there is something in the air and I think it's the autumn winds finally resurfacing. The rivals of the Raiders might have reason to snicker at the hype coming from Oakland after 13 years of the Dark Ages, but they are fooling themselves if they still think this is "the same old Raiders".

They need to take notice of what is happening in Oakland because it is the real deal. The nucleus is built, the structure is in place, and the time is now for the Raiders to finally return to their rightful place on top of the AFC West. What happens next is anybody's guess, but it is time now to tell the rivals of the Raiders to take heed.

Oakland is no longer the laughing stock of the league and no matter how many belittling jokes you make won't change it. The Raiders are back, they are ready, and it will be proven when they take the field. Take notice Chiefs, Chargers and Broncos, because the Silver and Black is putting you on notice and ready to prove it when they return to the field.

Raiders preview: Derek Carr, Khalil Mack drive playoff hopes | SI.com
In Oakland, Raiders fans are ready for a long-awaited playoff return, and after an off-season filled with shrewd moves, the men who brought the team b

Raiders playoff potential; NFL training camp notes | The MMQB with Peter King
Jack Del Rio has heard it all about Oakland’s talented, youth-heavy core, and says all that promise means squat without performance.

3 Reasons Why The Oakland Raiders Will Make The 2017 NFL Playoffs

The Oakland Raiders have a good chance to make the playoffs for the first time in 14 years.

Other stories from around the AFC West

Denver Broncos

Gary Kubiak and John Elway say the quarterback battle will be "wide open" - Mile High Report

Sanchez, Siemian, and Lynch will all get an equal shot at winning the job.

Watch out for Demaryius Thomas in 2016 - Mile High Report

Thomas is poised for a breakout season with the Broncos and determined to put his struggles in the past.

San Diego Chargers

San Diego Chargers Stadium Dreaming - Bolts From The Blue

Reality is annoying. Let’s dream about what could be instead.

What to expect from San Diego Chargers TE Antonio Gates in 2016 - San Diego Chargers Blog- ESPN

Even at age 36, Chargers tight end Antonio Gates is capable of putting up solid numbers if he stays healthy this season.

Kansas City Chiefs

Eric Berry expected to skip most of the Chiefs preseason, per report - Arrowhead Pride

If not all of it.

Jarryd Hayne Says The NFL Needs A Minor League

In his first and only NFL season, rugby league convert Jarryd Hayne didn’t get much action.

Other stories from around the NFL

The heartwrenching and uplifting tale of 'Gleason': From NFL hero to father to ALS soldier - LA Times

A grueling recording session was inching along for former NFL player Steve Gleason.

Nick Foles and the 10 biggest one-year wonders in NFL history | For The Win

Where does the recently-cut Foles land on the list?