Oakland Raiders: Notes And Observations From Week Eight

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Nov 1, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio walks down the sideline during action against the New York Jets in the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Jets 34-20. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders surprised a whole lot of people and in the process sent some shockwaves through the NFL on Sunday. Following their second straight dominating performance and dismantling of an opponent, the Raiders have put themselves in a position they’ve not been in for more than a decade.

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Brace yourselves, Raider Nation – and Raider Haters – the Oakland Raiders are legitimate playoff contenders.

Yes, yes, with only half the season in the books, there is still plenty of football left to play and many, many things can happen between now and the end of the regular season. Noted.

But this Raiders team is FAR exceeding the expectations of those in the sports media industry – though folks like Stephen A. still can’t bring themselves to admit it. The Raiders have been playing some inspired football and with a very convincing, very dominant performance against the Jets last week – a team many sports writers and talking heads have been making a sexy pick to do some postseason damage – have put themselves in a very good position with the playoff picture beginning to take shape.

Make no mistake, there is still a lot of football yet to be played. There are a million moving parts and anything can happen. But the arrow is definitely pointing upward for this Oakland team. Way upward. And with their strong play over the last three weeks in particular, HC Jack Del Rio has his squad trending in the right direction.

They face another stiff test this week in Pittsburgh, but let’s look back at a few of the things we saw, heard, and learned about this Raiders team last week against the Jets.

Next: Ground and Pound