The last two weeks have been a joy to watch. The Oakland Raiders have played with a passion and intensity not seen in some time.
The offense has executed in both the running and passing game. The defense has been ferocious and special teams have been solid, if unspectacular.
The question I keep asking myself is, who are these guys and where have they been?
This is what I expected all along. Maybe not the margins of victory, but the quality of football I thought I would see from this year's Raiders.
Just two short weeks ago, I thought I was once again suffering from the same delusions as in previous years. I still had friends coming up to me saying 'hey man, I thought this year was supposed to be different!' My, oh my, how things have changed!
It turns out I wasn't delusional. The Raiders are capable of playing good, no make that great, football. It turns out that these aren't the "same old Raiders". These guys are good!
I wanted to write this after the Raiders crushed the Broncos, but I waited. I thought, maybe, that game was smoke and mirrors. That maybe it was a dream scenario of things going perfect for one team and the result was somewhat counterfeit. I now know it wasn't.
Warren Sapp picked the Seahawks to beat the Raiders last Sunday on the pre-game show on the NFL network. He said "no team handles success more poorly than the Oakland Raiders". I know Warren always bashes the Raiders, but a tiny part of me thought what if he's right?
Guess what? Warren Sapp wasn't right. The Raiders came out and thoroughly dismantled a team that was leading it's division. Not saying the Seahawks are an elite team, but they're not doormats either. After all, they had already blown out two teams the Raiders had lost to!
I'll say this right now, the Raiders have turned the corner. They are capable of beating any team on their schedule and I think they know it. They have that Raider swagger back!
The Kansas City Chiefs will be the next team to find out come Sunday. They won't be in there against the winless Buffalo Bills this week. They might just find it little tougher against these new and improved Raiders.
I think the Raiders win and win big! 34-10 sounds about right to me. Who are these guys? I don't care, because they sure are fun to watch!