It’s about time people stop poking fun at the Oakland Raiders. This year’s team is no joke and has proven through five games that it’s for real.
The Raiders further strengthened their legitimacy Sunday with a tremendous display of heart in a 25-20 road win over the Texans just 24 hours after the death of legendary owner Al Davis.
Coach Hue Jackson said Tuesday on “Around the League” he had no doubts his players would rise to the occasion and honor Davis with a win.
“Oh, yes I did,” Jackson said. “Because that’s what we’re about here at the Raiders. We’re gonna fight, and we’re gonna work, and we go out with a purpose every week to win a football game. There’s no question in my mind those guys are gonna give it everything they had. …
“We’re going to continue to be what I know he would want us to be, which is find a way to become champions.”
There is a cultural shift in Oakland, and it begins with Jackson, who has expressed his desire to revive the glory of the Silver and Black. Lord knows the franchise has been an embarrassment since its Super Bowl appearance in 2003 — eight straight years without the playoffs, five coaching changes, the JaMarcus Russell debacle, so on, and so forth.
That’s all changing under Jackson, though. Oakland has a golden opportunity to enter its bye week at 5-2 after consecutive upcoming home games with the Browns and Chiefs. If the Raiders achieve that, can anyone besides Jackson honestly say they expected it?