OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Fans of the Oakland Raiders cheer against the New York Jets at O.co Coliseum on September 25, 2011 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

NFL Power Rankings, Week 4: Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers Both Gaining Some Ground

We take a look around the Internet at various power rankings to see how the media assesses the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers. For more on the Raiders, check out Silver & Black Pride. For more on the 49ers, check out Niners Nation.

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NFL Power Rankings, Week 4: ESPN Boosts Raiders, Lions, Bills The Most

ESPN released their week four NFL Power Rankings and the Oakland Raiders joined the Detroit Lions and Buffalo Bills as the biggest beneficiaries. The Lions climbed from No. 11 to No. 4, the Bills climbed from No. 16 to No. 6 and the Raiders climbed from No. 20 to No. 13. Of those three, the Raiders and Lions have the best chance to improve their position even more so as they face the Patriots and Cowboys, respectively.

The Raiders host the New England Patriots in a game that could give us a real sense of how much the Raiders belong. The win over the Jets was big and is proof they are contenders in the AFC West. However, I would argue a win over the Patriots would elevate the Raiders into the discussion for true contender in the AFC. The Raiders hung with a crazy Buffalo Bills offense, coming up just short. They've gone into a division rival (even if it's a struggling Denver) and got a win. They also showed an ability to bounce back in defeating a tough Jets squad.

On the other side of the Bay, the 49ers received a modest boost from No. 23 to No. 20 following an ugly road win over the Cincinnati Bengals. They climbed ahead of the Cardinals, Jaguars and Rams with their win. I'm a bit surprised the Rams are rated No. 31 given how tough their schedule has been to date. Eventually a team does need to start winning, but I'd still take them ahead of Indianapolis and Minnesota.

ESPN's rankings do show one of the problems with the power rankings. The Steelers remain a top ten team even though their only strong performance came against an abysmal Seattle Seahawks team. That close win over Indianapolis not worthy of a top ten spot.

ESPN Top Ten
1. Green Bay Packers
2. New Orleans Saints
3. New England Patriots
4. Detroit Lions
5. Baltimore Ravens
6. Buffalo Bills
7. New York Jets
8. Houston Texans
9. San Diego Chargers
10. Pittsburgh Steelers


NFL Power Rankings, Week 4: How Much Respect Do The Raiders & 49ers Deserve?

The latest edition of NFL Power Rankings are coming out and while power rankings in general are a simple basis for discussion, it does raise the question of where the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers sit on the NFL's totem pole. While they are both 2-1, they have gone about things in much different ways lately and likely have earned different levels of respect.

The Raiders are coming off a thumping of the New York Jets in which they proved once again how strong their rushing attack is. While the Raiders are putting together a solid passing game, this team will go as far as Darren McFadden takes them. Jason Campbell has great weapons in Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford, but McFadden is the engine of this team.

While I personally gave the Raiders a pretty sizable bounce this week, the SB Nation Week 4 NFL Power Rankings were slightly more modest. Nonetheless, they bumped them eight spots from No. 23 to No. 15. This shows both respect and caution. The Raiders face a huge challenge this weekend when they welcome the New England Patriots to town. The Patriots will give the Raiders defense one of its toughest challenges to date. The Raiders offense will potentially need to win another shootout, two weeks after dropping such a contest to the Buffalo Bills. The Raiders are a legit contender for the AFC West title, but this weekend could tell us how legit they are as an overall playoff contender.

On the other side of the Bay you've got the San Francisco 49ers. In my own power rankings I moved them up one spot. In SB Nation's NFL Power Rankings, they did not move from their spot at No. 20. While the 49ers did get a road win against the Cincinnati Bengals, it was as modest a win as a team can probably have. Ugly wins count the same as pretty wins in the standings, but for the purposes of perception, it did not do a whole lot for the 49ers and remaining right around the same spot is reasonable. Now, if they can go into Philly and spring an upset on the Eagles, maybe then we can talk about moving them around.


NFL Power Rankings, Week 4: Oakland Raiders Get Much Needed Boost

We provide a look at the state of the NFL in our week four power rankings. The Raiders make a big jump while the 49ers get a modest gain from their victory over the Bengals.

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