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Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Power Rankings: No. 30 Oakland Raiders

By Paul Gutierrez

A weekly examination of the Raiders’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 29 | Last Week: 30 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

If you want to be true to the system, then yes, the Oakland Raiders did not live up to expectations in 2013. At least, not by our Power Rankings standards. We had the Raiders ranked 29th in the preseason; they finished 30thOakland, under second-year coach Dennis Allen, staggered to the finish with another 4-12 campaign, losing eight of its final nine games for the second time in as many years as well.

But as Allen was fond of saying, the Raiders’ collapse was not for lack of desire or trying. The team simply hit a wall, especially the defense, sometime during the Tennessee Titans’ 80-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown drive to beat the Raiders the weekend before Thanksgiving. So many players were logging career highs in snaps played that Oakland was in not only uncharted waters, but treacherous waters as well. And it showed in the final quarter-plus of the season, as the Raiders lost six straight.

Also made obvious was the fact that neither Terrelle Pryor nor Matt McGloin is the franchise’s quarterback of the future, though Pryor flashed early and McGloin showed a preternatural pocket presence before leveling out. Underachieved? When you think about it, the Raiders probably finished right about where they should have, considering the talent on the roster and the obstacles they faced.