Following a 26-16 win in Tennessee, the Oakland Raiders check in at no. 6 in ESPN’s NFL Power Rankings.
ESPN posted their weekly NFL power rankings following the first week of the 2017 season, and just like every week, there were a few rankings that leave you scratching your head. For one, the Oakland Raiders are ranked way too low — coming in at #6.
This past Sunday, the Raiders put up by far one of their best all-around performances under the tenure of Jack Del Rio. It was a rather impressive win, as many did not see the defense holding the Titans’ rushing attack to less than 100 yards. Another point that should be noted is that the offense did not have the most efficient day but still put up 26 points. Special teams was also a factor, as Cordarrelle Patterson and Giorgio Tavecchio both had outstanding performances.
The Raiders should absolutely be in the discussion for a top five ranking. The defense still needs to stack together more performances like they had in Week 1, but if they can replicate Sunday’s performance for the majority of the season, Super Bowl aspirations will be well within reach.
Looking at the rest of the AFC West, The Kansas City Chiefs are the highest ranked team in the division, coming in at #3. That seems justified seeing that they beat the defending Super Bowl champion in New England on opening night, but they still have a game-manager at quarterback and also recently lost Eric Berry to a ruptured achilles. Despite that, they are still easily the biggest threat to the Raiders for the division crown.
The third highest ranked team would be the Denver Broncos at #15. Based off what we saw on Monday night, Trevor Siemian is not that good, the Broncos’ offensive line is god awful, oh and they also have former Raider Menelik Watson starting at right tackle, who got absolutely abused in that game. The Broncos could have easily started the season 0-1 by nearly out-chargering the Chargers, but they held on by blocking the potential game-winning field goal.
Lastly, its the lowly Los Angeles Chargers coming in at #22. The Chargers were on the brink of sending the game against the Broncos into overtime, until they would inevitably blow it. At this point, it has almost turned into an art form on how the Chargers manage to keep blowing game after game. Going into this season, the Chargers were seen by many as a dark horse to make the playoffs, but they’ll have to learn how to close games before that notion can be taken seriously.