by Adam Gretz
It's amazing what a blowout win over your arch-rival can do for your morale and outlook on the season. On Sunday, the Raiders marched into Denver and absolutely crushed the division-leading Broncos, in what was perhaps their most complete game of the year. The win improved the Raiders to 3-8 on the season, three games behind Denver in the AFC West.
With five games remaining on the schedule, the Raiders are, technically, still mathematically alive, and that's leading to some surprising optimism around the club.
From David White of the San Francisco Chronicle:
"Things are wide open," Raiders nose tackle Gerard Warren said. "We're not looking ahead, but if we were able to run the table, we might be able to squeak into the playoffs." Don't laugh. Lots of things became fathomable when the Raiders straight-up thumped the Broncos 31-10 Sunday.
Hurray for optimism! Normally, a three game deficit with five games remaining would be almost insurmountable, but in the AFC West this season? Maybe not.