Having won three games in a row, and reaching their bye week following a prime-time victory over the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, it defies power rankings roundup logic that the Raiders would fall an average of 1.2 spots in the five polls sampled here (ESPN, Bleacher Report, USA Today, CBS Sports and The Associated Press).
But they did.
With an average ranking of 5.2, the Raiders are easily the cream of California’s NFL crop. As for those other teams, that crop is much less creamy.
The Chargers (21.6), who lost to the Dolphins and fell an average of 3.2 spots, still are the best of the rest.
The Rams (26.2) rose less than a half-point thanks to their minimalist 9-6 victory over the Jets.
The 49ers showed as much fight as they have at any time in their eight-game losing streak, falling 23-20 to the Cardinals on a field goal as time expired. The 49ers are 30.8 for a second week in a row. The 49ers, who host the Patriots this week, haven’t ranked above 30 here since Week 4 (29.4).
Sorting the data:
Average rank: 5.2
Average change: -1.2
From ESPN (No. 6): “ … with the Chiefs and Broncos still looming in the division race, another prime-time win (Monday against the Texans) would go a long way in getting the Raiders home-field advantage in the playoffs.”
Average rank: 21.6
Average change: -3.2
From CBS Sports (No. 19): “They’ve lost so many tough ones this season, but the latest to Miami might just about end their playoff chances.”
Average rank: 26.2
Average change: +0.4
From USA Today (No. 24): “Better to unveil Jared Goff at the Coliseum rather than ask him to debut in a tough venue like New Orleans, New England or Seattle.”
Average rank: 30.8
Average change: 0.0
From ESPN (No. 31): “(Colin) Kaepernick has completed 38.4 percent of his second-half passes this season, as opposed to 71.2 percent in the first half. He’ll need a complete game to beat the Patriots this week.”