Oakland Raiders: Notes And Observations From Week Seven

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Oct 25, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) gestures during the third quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders made quite a statement against the Chargers this past Sunday. They not only beat a division rival, they did so in dominating fashion. It was all Raiders from the start, with linebacker Malcolm Smith intercepting San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers on the Chargers’ opening drive and Oakland building a 37-6 lead late in the third quarter. It was as dominating a win as the Raiders have posted in a long, long time – but that’s not to say that it was perfect.

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There were plenty of high points to be had though. From Derek Carr‘s outstanding performance, to the running game coming to life, to Amari Cooper looking like a ten year vet, to the defense playing a thorough and dominating game, there is much to celebrate.

We got a glimpse of just how good, how explosive, and how dominant this team can be when they put it all together.

Perhaps the most important thing to come out of the win in San Diego though, is the fact that the Raiders pulled themselves up to .500 at 3-3, and have stayed in the playoff race. At 2-5 and reeling, the Chargers are four full games back of division leading Denver, meaning that their shot at an AFC West title is pretty well over. Not only that, they have an Everest-sized mountain to climb if they any hope of having a shot at the postseason.

By winning though, the Raiders have kept themselves in the thick of the playoff race. They’re three games behind Denver and play them once more this season, which makes an AFC West title tough, but not completely outside the realm of possibility. However, they’re still firmly in the hunt for a wild card berth, trailing the Jets and the Steelers by a game.

And with their next two games being against the Jets and the Steelers, the Raiders have a prime opportunity to put themselves in an incredibly advantageous position for a possible postseason spot – after all, head to head tie breakers can be absolute gold.

It wasn’t a perfect win over the Chargers, but it was a very, very good one. There is much to be celebrated and still, much work to do. Let’s take a look at some notes and observations from their win over San Diego…

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