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Raiders week 14 power rankings round-up: Silver and Black rises once more

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NFL: New York Giants at Oakland Raiders
Dexter McDonald had himself a big day against the Giants.
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

No Amari Cooper and no Michael Crabtree, no problem for the Raiders as they beat the New York Giants 24-17. The offense as expected struggled a bit without it’s top two wide receivers but Marshawn Lynch, Cordarelle Patterson, and Derek Carr found a way. It wasn’t pretty but the result was a win and in the immortal words of Legend Al Davis the Raiders found a way to “Just win, baby.”

Oakland is now 6-6 and in a 3 way tie for 1st place in the AFC West with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers. The Raiders would clinch the division by beating both the Chiefs and Chargers but they would likely have to beat either the Eagles or Cowboys. It wasn’t the plan at the beginning of the year but the players and coaches will take controlling their own destiny all day and twice on Sunday. 15

Nice to see a happy Derek Carr raise both hands in victory, a la Bay Area legend Joe Montana. Carr was not only overjoyed with winning sans his top talents on the perimeter (apologies to Seth Roberts, Cordarrelle Patterson and the immortal Johnny Holton), but he made a beeline for Eli Manning to send along nice words. (You know, like presumably, "Hey, man. Good game. You're better than Geno Smith ... Good game, man, good game.") Boy, Oakland is back in the thick of the AFC West fight, but every upcoming team on the schedule is in the playoff race, too. The autumn wind, purportedly, is a Raider. Does Autumn extend into December?

Last Week: 17

ESPN: 15

The Raiders have utilized eight rookies on defense, but their impact has been limited. The group has combined for five pass break-ups while not recording a single sack, interception or fumble recovery. Undrafted linebacker Nicholas Morrow leads the group with 40 tackles.

Last Week: 20

Washington Post: 14

The Raiders go from playing a team in the Giants that just had benched its starting QB for no good reason, to facing a team in the Chiefs that probably should be benching its starting QB but won’t.

Last Week: 18

Bleacher Report: 16

The thing that should excite Raiders fans—aside from the fact they're now tied for the division lead—is the run game has started to get going. Derek Carr and the passing game haven't had the same magic they had last season, so improvement on the ground is critical.

The other big thing is the run game can help keep Oakland's lackluster defense off the field.

I still don't feel great about the Raiders' playoff chances, but Oakland does have playmakers in the pass game. If the defense and the running game make plays like they did against the Giants—playmaking receivers Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper were both out—Oakland will have a shot at an AFC West title or a wild-card spot.

Last Week: 19

Niners Nation: 18

Last Week: 21

Yahoo: 17

I’m not sure the Raiders have the type of team that can win three or four more games and get a playoff spot. But if they win at the Chiefs on Sunday, they have a shot. Given how bad they were at times earlier this season, they can’t ask for any more than that.

Last Week: 19

Sporting News: 17

Marshawn Lynch is embodying the relentless push they're showing in a disappointing, but not totally lost, season.

Last Week: 20

ProFootballTalk: 14

Sunday’s game at Arrowhead Stadium feels like an elimination game.

Last Week: 18

USA Today: 15

A Christmas trip to Philadelphia part of their remaining schedule, which is far more foreboding than Chargers' or Chiefs' final set of games.

Last Week: 17

Average Ranking: 15.67

The Raiders are on the rise but not by much because they still have a lot of people wondering who exactly they are. Nobody can truly put a finger on the pulse of this team as they go from horrendous to magical in the same games at times. The Raiders must settle down and get the offense back on track over the last 4 games of the season to make the playoffs.

The season has not been an easy one but nobody will care if the Raiders can get into the playoffs and make some noise. The offensive issues must get ironed out in a hurry, the defense looks improved but what that just a product of 2 very bad offenses? Nobody knows but the answers are coming very soon over the next 4 weeks because the Raiders control their own destiny.

Last Week: 19.14