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Raiders week 15 Power Rankings round-up: Raiders rise across the board after upset win against Steelers

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Pittsburgh Steelers v Oakland Raiders Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Imagine that! Beating a playoff caliber team with a winning record has a big effect on the power rankings. That’s been made obvious after every outlet we cover has given the Raiders a higher spot on their power rankings after Oakland’s improbable upset of the Pittsburgh Steelers. There are still a few rankings that have the Raiders nearly at the bottom but overall the win against Pittsburgh has been met with considerable praise across the board.

Rank: 23

Last Week: 18

Once again, the Mothership has decided to use a reasoning other than ranking teams best to worst. This week they ranked them by what team's QB you'd most want for a 4th quarter comeback.

Rank: 27

Last Week: 29

"The 1970s were back in Oakland on Sunday, at least for an afternoon. It is difficult not to get nostalgic seeing the Steelers in their road whites taking on the Silver-and-Black in the same venue that saw three rough playoff games in the disco decade. Dancing was allowed in the stands Sunday, as Oakland delivered the upset of the day. As your friendly writer has stated before, say what you want about Jon Gruden, but the guys in that Raiders locker room are competing for their coach. Derek Carr, in particular, deserves a Spider 2Y Banana's worth of credit for his showing: 25 of 34 for 322 yards and two scores.

Historical note: The last Pittsburgh-Oakland playoff game played at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum was the 1976 AFC Championship Game. The Raiders knocked off the two-time defending champ Steelers, 24-7, en route to winning their first Super Bowl two weeks later. The head coach was John Madden, who I hope watched this 2018 affair somewhere."


Rank: 31

Last Week: 32

"Top wish list item: Continued growth between Jon Gruden and Derek Carr. After so many fits and starts through the first half of the season, the Raiders coach and quarterback are, as tight end Lee Smith said, starting to speak the same language. It's showing. Carr has not thrown an interception since the third quarter of the Raiders' fifth game, a stretch of 261 attempts and 33 quarters in eight-plus games, and is on pace for career highs in passing yards (4,227) and completion percentage (69.2). A strong finish would go a long way toward establishing a long-term relationship. -- Paul Gutierrez"

Rank: 29

Last Week: 31

The Washington Post

Rank: 27

Last Week: 30

"The firing of Reggie McKenzie as general manager Monday was a consolidation of the power that everyone knew Coach Jon Gruden already had. Beating the Steelers was nice but it wasn’t a good Sunday for the Raiders’ draft positioning with the Cowboys and Bears, who traded first-rounders to Oakland, also winning."


Rank: 31

Last Week: 32

"With Reggie McKenzie fired, the Raiders’ next general manager hire is a crucial one. Jon Gruden will still have the power, but he needs a strong personnel man that he respects to guide him into a better offseason than he had in 2018. It’s especially important with five first-round picks in the next two years. If the new GM is brought in to smile and tell Gruden that it’s a great idea to keep stockpiling free agents in their 30s, this probably isn’t going to turn around very soon."

Bleacher Report

Rank: 27

Last Week: 30

"Over the last couple of weeks, the Oakland Raiders have shown something that was sorely lacking earlier in the year.

A pulse.

As a matter of fact, the Raiders showed more than a pulse against the Pittsburgh Steelers. One of the NFL's worst teams drove the length of the field in the game's last minute to stun the Steelers—sealing the deal with a blocked field goal on the game's last play (thanks to a slip).

"The Raiders have been performing well on offense for about a month now, the defense was also suddenly sound against Pittsburgh in Week 14, and they seem to be playing hard for Jon Gruden," Gagnon said. "That's gotta be a relief, because it's suboptimal when your team is giving up on a coach in the first season of a 10-year, $100 million contract."

Quarterback Derek Carr had arguably his best game of the season in the upset, throwing for 322 yards and two scores without an interception. Like Carr, the rest of the Raiders avoided the sorts of mistakes that have doomed them in so many games this year.

All told, it was reason to smile in a season short on those. The Raiders fought hard. The quarterback the team shouldn't want to replace played well.

Now stop winning! You're ruining your draft position!"

Sporting News

Rank: 31

Last Week: 32

"The Raiders are showing more fight and offensive flow; they gave the Chiefs a great game before their dramatic upset of the Steelers. Jon Gruden is coaching better, and now the pressure of being the decision-maker is all on him going forward."

Average Ranking: 28.25

Last Week: 29.125