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Not since week two have Raiders fans been this confident in the direction of the team

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NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Oakland Raiders Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

When you’ve been as bad as the Raiders were through a large stretch of this season, seeing them put up a fight at all is enough to make the fans feel hope. Lately that’s what we’ve seen from this Raiders team — fight. It led to getting their biggest win of the season last week against the Steelers.

Despite it being just their third win, and their first against a winning team, it was confirmation for many who saw the Raiders showing improvement in recent weeks, that things could be looking up.

The result was a rise in the fan confidence poll to 39%, which is still not very high, but it’s the highest it has been since after week two when the Raiders lost by one point to the Broncos. The confidence poll was right at 50% then. And it went down from there as the losses piled up.

Rock bottom was the week six loss to the Seahawks in London. Confidence was at 9% at that time. Things didn’t get any better for a while, but fans have a way of talking themselves into believing, so the confidence poll crept up anyway. Add the team doing things of late to actually give them reason to feel better, and the graph ends up looking like a crooked smile.

A win over the Bengals would make for a more full looking smile, appropriately enough.