NFL Power Rankings Week 16: Focus on the Oakland Raiders

Rob BeloteSenior Analyst IDecember 22, 2010

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 19:  The Raiderettes cheer during the Denver Broncos game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on December 19, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Doing power rankings is tough, but because of the limited number of games on an NFL schedule, it's one of the only ways to get an idea for which teams are better than others given factors other than just their records. 

At my site, www.GuysNation.comI do a weekly power ranking of all 32 NFL teams. It's a hugely subjective process in which I account for a team's strength of schedule, margin of victory, good wins and bad losses.

Where do the Oakland Raiders currently rank?

I'll admit it—I was starting to buy into the Oakland Raiders. Leading into their bye week, they went on a three-game streak of victories, with two lopsided wins—against the Broncos in Denver and then while hosting the Seahawks. Their Week 9 victory over the Chiefs wasn't by a large margin, but the Chiefs are a good team, and again, it's a division game.

Following the bye week, I wondered what to expect as the Raiders traveled to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers. Although the margin of victory was fairly large and Oakland didn't score a touchdown, every team is allowed to slip up here and there.

Then I figured the Raiders would have a good follow-up as they hosted Miami in Week 12, but again they fell far short of victory, though not by a huge margin.

In a very encouraging win, Oakland took down divisional opponent San Diego for the second time this season, bringing them to 4-0 against the AFC West this season, which is very impressive, as teams often lose three games on their schedule in the away games in their division. Two of those road games are already accounted for, making it even more of a résumé shining star.

At this point, Jacksonville (however improbable it might be) is a playoff-contending team, so a close loss to them on the road isn't a terrible thing for the Raiders, though at that point it became imperative that the Silver and Black would need to win the rest of their games just to have a chance at the postseason.

That's going to be a tough task with Indianapolis showing up this weekend, with the Colts' string of playoff-making seasons in the balance, and then a game in Week 17 where the Raiders have the opportunity to sweep the AFC West, an improbable outcome, especially traveling to Arrowhead Stadium to play the reenergized Chiefs.

Twelve teams make the I have the Raiders in that group?

For the complete rankings and analysis, check out the article on my website,! Unlike Power Rankings you see elsewhere, your comments could help persuade me to rank your team better after Week 16!

You also will probably enjoy voicing your opinion through voting in nearly a dozen polls set up to help get people's feedback on the Power Rankings!

You also might like the dueling NFL Week 15 picks article on, a new(ish) feature where the games on a given week's NFL schedule are debated between myself and another author on my site (who just happens to be a LIFELONG PHILADELPHIA EAGLES FAN, so you KNOW he's got a high opinion of his opinion!).

The Week 16 picks article is coming soon, but you could probably have some fun at the expense of some NFC East fans by making fun of how they fared last week, with hindsight being 20-20. There's also plenty more to enjoy on, so give it a look!