Oakland Raiders in Familiar Spot in AFC West in 2011 and That Needs to Change

Nine games into the 2011 NFL season, the Oakland Raiders find themselves in a very familiar spot.

The silver and black are 5-4; in 2010, they were 5-4. 2011 has a slightly different feel, as the Raiders are all alone atop the AFC West. Last year, they were tied with the Kansas City Chiefs.

This year, the road traveled to 5-4 has been tougher, though. In Week 6, they lost their starting quarterback, Jason Campbell, for the season and are 1-2 since.

In 2010, the road to 5-4 included a three-game winning streak (first since 2002 season) and a dramatic come from behind overtime victory in Oakland against the Chiefs to complete the aforementioned streak.


The Same But Different

The record is the same this year as it was last year. The similarities stop there.

The 2010 5-4 version of the Raiders were probably as good as they were going to get.

After a bye, they were embarrassed in Pittsburgh against the Steelers and lost a huge game to Jacksonville on the road that would have put them in the hunt for a wild card spot. Instead, they were forced to scoreboard watch for the remainder of the season and were officially eliminated in Week 16.



Much More Potential in 2011

Don't be fooled by the 1-2 record and the weak division that has landed the Raiders on top of the AFC West during the last four weeks.

This team is better than last year's team, and they have yet to play their best football.


All-In and All Need to Be In

In Hue Jackson's postgame locker room speech aired on the NFL Network after Thursday's win against the Chargers, he talked about the team being all-in as far as effort and commitment were concerned. This notion of effort and commitment is nothing to snub your nose at, and it will be very important for the Raiders down the stretch.

But, if th...

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