McClatchy-Tribune photo by Aric Crabb
November 13, 2011
Remaining schedule: at Miami; at Green Bay (11-0); vs. Detroit (7-4); at Kansas City (4-7); vs. San Diego (4-7).
Their chances: Most football pundits don't include the Raiders in this conversation, but as the AFC West leaders, they at least warrant some consideration.
However, with three challenging games in front of them, including a date in two weeks against the currently undefeated Packers at Lambeau Field, Oakland would probably be better served setting more modest goals, such as holding off the hard-charging Denver Broncos for first place in the division.
Since quarterback Carson Palmer was acquired from the Bengals and installed as the starter, the Raiders have gone 3-1 while enduring various injuries on the offensive side of the ball.
While Palmer has clearly provided the franchise with a jolt, the Raiders will probably need a healthy Darren McFadden to be considered a serious contender. The star running back has missed four consecutive games with a foot injury, and he's reportedly going to be out one to two more weeks.