A weekly examination of the Raiders' ESPN.com Power Ranking:
Preseason: 29 | Last Week: 27 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002
No Terrelle Pryor? No Darren McFadden? No problem. While the “breakout” performance of former Penn State walk-on and Oakland Raiders “camp arm” fourth-string quarterback Matt McGloin garnered the headlines this week, running back Rashad Jennings' bull-style running attack was just as important in the Raiders’ victory at Houston. The win not only ended Oakland’s eight-game road losing streak but also moved the Raiders up one spot in our Power Rankings.
In fact, even at 4-6, the Raiders are now just one game out of the playoff race with six to play, including a winnable home game coming up against the Tennessee Titans. It will be the Raiders’ lone home game in a five-week stretch.
Of course, we’ve seen the Raiders on the cusp of taking another step forward in the past, only to stumble and fall -- spectacularly. Or have you forgotten Oakland’s embarrassing showing in its most recent home game, the 49-20 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Of course, that was with Pryor under center and McFadden starting at running back. What does it all mean? Stay tuned.
The health of Pryor and McFadden factor in, of course, as to why Dennis Allen won’t commit yet to McGloin and Jennings -- yet.