Peter King posted an article on the Raiders in profootballtalk....

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.co...-2-peter-king/

<The Raiders
They can win . . . now

When I saw GM Mike Mayock in training camp seven weeks ago, he told me: “We need to be a playoff team—and beyond. It’s time to win.” The last seven days tells me they can be. The easy way to look at the Raiders is to see Derek Carr throwing for 817 yards in his first two games, playing clutch down the stretch, and finally activating the Cliff Branch of modern Raiderdom. Al Davis would have loved seeing Carr throw a zeppelin-ball 57 yards in the air, to a spot where sprinter/wideout Henry Ruggs was zooming toward, and connecting with Ruggs on a 61-yard touchdown that clinched the 26-17 upset of the Steelers in Pittsburgh’s home opener. Oh, and Al would have loved that the pass came at the confluence of the Three Rivers, against the team he despised from the Immaculate Reception a half-century ago.

Let’s give Carr his due, and let’s give Jon Gruden his due too—for being in perfect sync with Carr now, for calling the kind of plays in the kind of order that’s becoming hard to stop. The offensive line is leaky, and the franchise back, Josh Jacobs, might not be a durable player; we’ll see. But this is a big-league quarterback, with a big-league receiving corps. Maybe Ruggs will never be an every-down receiver, but to ruin games he doesn’t have to be. Leave that to Darren Waller, Bryan Edwards and Hunter Renfrow.

The defense has been so much better than I thought. In the first two game, per Pro Football Focus, Vegas has brought significant pressure on 38 percent of the dropbacks of Lamar Jackson and Ben Roethlisberger. It’s not T.J. Watt-type pressure, but it’s enough to not leave the secondary out to dry as was so often the case last year. Also: Criticize Mayock for a slew of his high picks, which is fair. But give him credit for the one-year, $2.5-million contract he agreed to with cornerback Casey Hayward, who’s been very good in the first two weeks. The Ravens and Steelers are 0-for-5 targeting him, and he’s been in coverage against both physical and fleet receivers so far. And Solomon Thomas, cut loose by the 49ers last winter, gave the Raiders two sacks of Roethlisberger on Sunday.

The West is where the power is, in both conferences. Who’d have thought it’d be the Raiders and Broncos at 2-0, with KC and the Chargers 1-1. This could be a fascinating year out west.>