A hang-on-for-dear-life 21-18 win over the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday -- the Raiders’ third straight defeat of their ancient rivals in the East Bay dating back to 2006 -- has Oakland riding high ... and at its highest point in our Power Rankings this season.
The Raiders jump six spots and, with six straight games coming up against teams that do not currently have winning records, they’re looking to make a little noise, even as they sit at 3-4. Still, they’ve been in every game save one, at Denver.
Plus, Oakland’s defense is rounding into shape as the No. 10 ranked unit in the league under a coordinator not afraid to let an official know how he, um, feels. And after quarterback Terrelle Pryor’s 93-yard gallop to open the game set an NFL record for longest touchdown run by a quarterback and eclipsed Bo Jackson’s 92-yard sprint from 1989 as the franchise’s longest run from scrimmage, the Raiders are feeling good about themselves. And why not? The challenge, then, is to maintain the momentum against a beaten-up Philadelphia Eagles team and for the offense to not go stagnant in the second half.