The Oakland Raiders were able to improve their win total to three games in Week 8 with the team getting the best of the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers at O.co Coliseum. Although the Steelers have really struggled this season, the Raiders came out with a solid win at home and have earned a little more respect from ESPN as a result.
With Terrelle Pryor and company getting the best Steelers, the Raiders have gone from No. 28 to No. 22 on ESPN’s NFL Power Rankings:
No. 26 – Philadelphia Eagles (3-5)
No. 25 – St. Louis Rams (3-5)
No. 24 – Washington Redskins (2-5)
No. 23 – Atlanta Falcons (2-5)
No. 22 – Oakland Raiders (3-4)
In Week 9, the Raiders will host the Philadelphia Eagles at O.co Coliseum in an attempt to get back to .500 on the season. The Eagles, much like the Steelers, have also been a team that has failed to live up to expectations this year.
Fortunately for the Raiders, starting quarterback Michael Vick will not be under center for head coach Chip Kelly in Oakland. Vick is dealing with a hamstring injury that will keep the veteran sidelined while Nick Foles and Matt Barkley prepare to get the call from Kelly against a much improved Raiders defense.
As for the rest of the AFC West, the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs were able to come away with wins while the San Diego Chargers rested up during their bye week.
Rankings for the AFC West via ESPN:
No. 1 – Kansas City Chiefs (8-0)
No. 2 – Denver Broncos (7-1)
No. 11 – San Diego Chargers (4-3)
The Broncos and Chiefs continue to battle it out for the right to be called the best team in the AFC West and in the NFL for that matter. Peyton Manning and company were able to bounce back against the lowly Redskins after losing their first game of the season against the Indianapolis Colts. Kansas City on the other hand held the Cleveland Browns to remain the only undefeated team in the league.
Denver and Kansas City are currently neck-and-neck in the quest for the division title while Raiders and Chargers continue to compete for one of the two AFC Wild Card spots.