So what did the Raiders do in Week 13?
They staged another stirring, logic-defying comeback, posted a sixth consecutive win, and at 10-2, the Raiders have won their most games in a season since 2002, when their 11-5 record launched them into Super Bowl XXXVII.
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As a result, the Raiders held onto their average ranking of 3.2 in the five polls sampled here (ESPN, Bleacher Report, USA Today, CBS Sports and The Associated Press). California’s other NFL teams are lost in that silver and black dust cloud.
The Chargers are a difficult team for those polls to define. The Chargers’ rankings range from 15th to 23rd, and they have an average ranking of 20.2. Following their 28-21 home loss to the Buccaneers, they have an average ranking of 20.2.
The Rams had little chance (and little offense in their 26-10 loss at the Patriots, and they dipped slightly to an average ranking of 27.2.
Only the winless Browns stand between the 49ers and rock bottom in all five of the polls. The 49ers’ listless 26-6 road loss to the Bears dropped them to an average 31.0 ranking, down from 30.6. Will the Jets be the cure for the 49ers’ 11-game losing streak?
Sorting the data:
Average rank: 3.2
Average change: –
From ESPN (No. 3): “(Khalil) Mack has three strip-sacks in the fourth quarter in his past four games, and he recovered the fumble each time.”
Average rank: 20.2
Average change: -2.6
From USA Today (No. 20): “Only Oakland is outscoring them in AFC. Yet only Cleveland is giving up more points in conference.”
Average rank: 27.2
Average change: -0.6
From CBS Sports (No. 28): “Jeff Fisher is coming back as coach since he got a contract extension. Oh, boy.”
Average rank: 31.0
Average change: -0.4
From ESPN (No. 31): “If you have two hands, you can count the net passing yards for the 49ers in Week 13 (a total of six). If you have one finger, you can also count the 49ers’ wins this season.”