After a third straight win, people are finally starting to take notice of the Oakland Raiders. With a win in Week 12 over the Jets the Raiders could move to 7-4 and tie with the Chiefs for the lead in the AFC West.
Let’s take a look at the week 12 power rankings across various publications:
Previous rank: 14
Another win and another big performance from the Baby Raiders. Maxx Crosby, a fourth-round pick who played a key role in Week 10’s win over the Chargers, had four sacks in Sunday’s 17-10 win over the Bengals. Crosby, who we got to know initially as a good-natured kid fighting through a meddlesome hand injury this summer on Hard Knocks, becomes just the second NFL rookie since 1988 to have four sacks in a game. One play after Crosby took down Ryan Finley for the final time, second-round cornerback Trayvon Mullen effectively ended the game with an interception, the first of his career. This feels like an appropriate space to mention that first-round running back Josh Jacobs went over 100 yards rushing for the fourth time this season. Mike Mayock’s debut draft class could become the stuff of legend in Raiders lore. At 6-4, a path to the playoffs is in sight.
Previous rank: 17
Sure, the rookie was a second-round draft pick, but many observers wondered if the Raiders were too high on him when they traded away a former first-rounder in Gareon Conley midseason to elevate Mullen. Turns out, the Raiders’ instincts have been on the mark. Mullen still is growing into the role, no doubt, but while he has been a step or so short on a pair of pick-sixes over the past few weeks, he sealed the Raiders’ win against the Bengals on Sunday with a pick of Ryan Finley.
Previous rank: 15
Derek Carr (25-of-29, 292 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 105.7 rating) and Josh Jacobs (23 rushes, 112 yards) continued their productive, under-the-radar seasons while a young defense led by Maxx Crosby (4 sacks, forced fumble) turned in their second strong effort in as many weeks as the Raiders stay glued to the Chiefs’ bumper in the West. Could this team actually make the playoffs?
Previous rank: 12
The Raiders have their running game and defense going to support Derek Carr’s combination of gutsy and efficient play. Jon Gruden remains in the coach of the year conversation with Kyle Shanahan and LaFleur.
Previous rank: 15
With one more sack, they will have doubled last season’s total (13). Rookies Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell have already combined for 10.
Previous rank: 10
They have made strides on defense and the offense can score points. Can they win the division?
Average rank: 12.1
The overall average jumped two spots from last weeks number of 14. Another win in week 12 and the Raiders could find themselves creeping into the top 10.