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Oakland Raiders Make Huge Jump In ESPN’s NFL Power Rankings

USA Today

USA Today

The Oakland Raiders came into the 2015 NFL season with high hopes of finally righting the ship after over a decade of despair. Oakland was able to get something going during the NFL offseason with the hiring of head coach Jack Del Rio, free agent signing of Michael Crabtree and drafting arguably the most talented player in the 2015 NFL Draft in Alabama’s Amari Cooper.

Although no one anticipated the Raiders being a forced to be reckoned with this season, the consensus was this team was on the rise with the right pieces being put together in the Bay Area. Second-year quarterback Derek Carr had the offensive arsenal at his disposal with the addition of Crabtree and Cooper while also having an up-and-coming threat out of the backfield in Latavius Murray.

With eight weeks in the books for the Raiders, the Oakland franchise is sitting at 4-3 on the season and is starting to get the recognition they deserve. A distinct sign of the times for the Raiders came in the form of ESPN’s NFL Power Rankings on Tuesday.

The Raiders have been gradually moving up the rankings all season long with the major media outlet hesitant to rank the team higher than the middle of the pack among the NFL’s 32 teams. After Week 8’s impressive victory over the visiting New York Jets, ESPN came around and thrust the Raiders into the top 10 from number 16.

As of right now, the Raiders sit at ninth overall on ESPN’s NFL Power Rankings with only the league’s elite ahead of them. The AFC West division rival Denver Broncos (7-0) moved up to second overall as a result of their dominant performance over the Green Bay Packers. The Broncos will continue to be the toughest team to beat in the AFC West, but Oakland is moving up fast and could give them a run for their money in Week 14.

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