The Oakland Raiders fell to the Denver Broncos at home on Sunday, giving some critics a chance to bring back their Silver and Black bashing. But the most important part of the game was the Raiders' ability to prevent Denver from scoring a touchdown.
Peyton Manning was under heavy fire on Sunday night because the Raiders are actually much better than harsh critics might think. Derek Carr and the Raiders offense are 11th out of 32 teams in passing yards per game after week 5. What other QB passes for over 20 touchdowns after his rookie season?
Carr is one of a kind and I predict a successful future for this man — if the team around him continues to improve as we have seen recently (despite some inconsistencies on the offensive line).
The Raider defense seems to be improving after every game. They have not only one of the youngest pass rushers in Khalil Mack (24), but he is also one of the fiercest men on defense and hopefully will land on everybody's list of 'top rushers' by the end of the season.
Teams should fear the Raiders defense in the upcoming weeks because you can't forget they also picked up Aldon Smith, who has been one of the most consistent pass rushers since entering the league in 2011 with 45.5 sacks in 55 games.
Sunday's game also gave Raider fans the chance to see Charles Woodson pick off Manning for the first time in his career—twice.
Things are looking up for the 2-3 Raiders, although the road will not be an easy one in the always competitive AFC West.
Four of the last five games for the season will be against division opponents so if the Raiders play up to their potential, and Carr continues to grow along with the young defense, then they will be okay.
I personally believe that the Raiders are still a legitimate threat to compete in the AFC West, but how the team overcomes injuries and so forth, assuming it happens because it's football and heavy hits are unavoidable, will be a key factor in their success.
It’s a bye week for the Raiders before they travel down south to San Diego to take on the Chargers at 1:05 p.m. on Oct. 25.