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Monday, November 28, 2011
Oakland Raiders: Moving On

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Here are some areas the Oakland Raiders need to focus on after a 25-20 home win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday:

Recap: The Raiders are now 7-4 and they lead the Denver Broncos, 6-5, by one game in the AFC West. Oakland has won three games in a row for the second time since 2002, which was the last year Oakland had a winning record and made the playoffs. The Raiders are playing good football in all three phases.

Biggest area to fix: Chicago had 401 yards of total offense and it was playing without standout quarterback Jay Cutler. The Bears made big plays in the air and on the ground. Oakland made key plays against backup Caleb Hanie, but it has to get better on defense, especially with a trip to Green Bay looming in two weeks.

Biggest area to build on: The Raiders cut down on penalties, big-time. They were flagged just six times for 44 yards. It’s not perfect, but it is progress for a team that has led the NFL in penalties all season.

What to watch for: Oakland plays at Miami on Sunday. This is no longer an easy victory. Miami had won three straight games before losing at Dallas on Thanksgiving. Traveling all the way to Miami won’t be a treat, either. Still, Oakland is playing well enough that it should win this game.