Does Any Hope Remain for Oakland Raiders for Rest of 2012 Season?

Chris Trapasso@ChrisTrapassoAnalyst IOctober 22, 2012

Oct 21, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer (3) reacts during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Jaguars in overtime 26-23.  Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

A three-point win against the Jacksonville Jaguars in overtime? 

Eh, not impressive, Oakland Raiders

Actually, I won't be so harsh. 

In today's NFL, I can't be. 

The league is lined with so much parity, wait, let's call it what it really is—mediocrity—that a win of any kind is immensely valuable. 

You know how it goes—a win is a win is a win. 

Believe me, Dennis Allen doesn't care how his team won on Sunday, and frankly, he shouldn't. 

But, where do the Raiders go from here. 

Was their Week 7 triumph just a bad team beating another bad team in a coin flipper? Or, can Oakland build on its victory and salvage their 2012 season? 

Let's examine, shall we? 

The Raiders certainly have their holes on both sides of the ball; there's no questioning that. 

The run defense is average as is the secondary. 

Before their three-sack effort against the Jaguars, they were 31st in the NFL with a mere four sacks. 

However, Carson Palmer, the guy playing the most important position on the field, isn't losing games for Oakland, and that's huge. 

Receivers Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore are slowly, but surely, emerging as dynamic options on the outside, too. 

What's odd is that a seemingly fresh and healthy Darren McFadden is struggled acclimating his powerful, yet elusive, running style to the zone-blocking scheme. 

I'd be shocked if he goes the entire year, or much longer for that matter, averaging around three yards per carry. 

McFadden is too talented to be so disappointing. 

If he can get going and once again be the true focal point of the Raiders offensive attack, they'll be competitive.

Also, Palmer's steady play must continue as well as creating a stronger connection with the speedy wideouts, something that I think will happen in the near future. If so, Oakland has the recipe to field a balanced offensive attack. 

With a schedule that includes the two battles with the listless Kansas City Chiefs, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, an injury-riddled Baltimore Ravens team, the Cleveland Browns and Carolina Panthers, Raiders fans shouldn't give up on the year just yet. 

Heck, the AFC isn't that good! 

Everyone's in the mix, or at least, it seems that way. 

For an Oakland Raiders club that hasn't played exceptionally well but has managed two wins through six weeks, the only place to go is up. 

So, yeah, there's hope. 

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