Rapid Reaction: Panthers 17, Raiders 6

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The Raiders were game on Sunday.

And for that, they should be saluted. Yes, we're at the point with this team.

Many observers around the league thought Oakland was going to implode this week. Or perhaps, more accurately, many expected the implosion to continue. The Raiders, whose last three defeats came by a combined score of 87-13, suddenly cut cornerback DeAngelo Hall last week.

There were reports that Oakland could soon cut ties with several other high-priced failures. It was conceivable that the Raiders could lie down as a protest.

But they didn't. Sure, Oakland was beaten fairly soundly and the Raiders were without quarterback JaMarcus Russell, who is recovering from a knee injury. But they didn't get blown out either.

Is it encouraging? Look, Oakland is 2-7. But the Raiders played hard and that's something to build on.