Tuesday is generally power rankings day around the Internet, as most websites come up with some sort of rundown of how teams are doing at that point in time. A big win or loss will generally mean some decent movement in the rankings for a team. This week the Raiders and Browns are the two teams getting a lot of movement thanks to their respective wins over the Chiefs and Patriots.
The Browns win is certainly notable, but the Raiders win is of much more significant value because it was a division matchup with the first place team. The Raiders remain a half game back because of the bye, but they have to be pleased with their ability to come back against a tough opponent and get the key victory.
The team was accordingly rewarded in power rankings with three to four spot jumps. ESPN, CBS Sports, and Fanhouse’s NFL Page all bumped the Raiders up to No. 12 in the rankings. Fox Sports also gave them a boost of four spots but they appear to continually undervalue the Raiders as they currently have them at No. 17. One drawback to most power rankings is that after voting a team into one spot that might be undervalued down the road, it’s hard to justify a major jump even if that would correct a past mistake in ranking. Whatever the case, the Raiders are getting love all around the league.
On the other end of the spectrum are my beloved 49ers. In looking at the rankings linked above, they either rose or dropped one or two spots due to wins and losses around them. Of course, this weekend’s matchup with the Rams will give them a chance to make up some serious ground. The Rams are 4-4 but have plenty of question marks, and yet it would count as a big win among the sports writers because they’ve boosted the Rams at this point. We’ll see how it plays out this Sunday.