At a time when Rex Ryan is cutting back on the rah rah rhetoric, Raiders coach Hue Jackson has taken a page out of the Ryan motivational playbook.
When you get knocked down, ramp up the confidence to new levels. And throw in a bold quasi-guarantee.
“We’re not backing down from what the expectation is here by no stretch of the imagination. It’s not going to change,” Jackson said. “We’re going to win the AFC West. We’re going to do everything we can to get in the playoffs and go challenge for a Super Bowl. I am not backing down from that.”
The manner in which the Raiders have reached 2-2 actually makes us believe Jackson. Oakland’s effort was highly inconsistent in recent years. They could beat playoff teams, but lose to anyone.
Despite the 2-2 record, Oakland has played hard each week. Their run game is an enormous weapon. Jason Campbell has been steady. They only played one team they clearly “should” beat and handled Denver rather easily.
The tough early schedule continues this week in Houston. After that, they host the Browns, Chiefs, and Broncos. That gives Oakland a chance to get to the halfway mark at 5-3 and right in the mix of what should be a two-team AFC West race with San Diego.