NFL Power Rankings: 49ers, Raiders now two of the bottom three teams


NFL Power Rankings: 49ers, Raiders now two of the bottom three teams

1. Kansas City (5-0)
Previous rank: 2. 

Chiefs are so good they can weather an average night from Kid Wonder. Chiefs are a buzz saw. 
2. L.A. Rams (5-0)
Previous rank: 1
Don’t think of this as a demotion. It’s less about the Rams than the team above them. 
3. New Orleans (4-1)
Previous rank: 4
Drew Brees is so, so, so good. So, so, so classy. There’s no better ambassador for the city of New Orleans. Congratulations on an historic night. 
4. New England (3-2)
Previous rank: 5
Right back on top of the AFC East, where they’ve been for decades. Notice the plural. 
5. Jacksonville (3-2)
Previous rank: 3
Jags defense went heads up with Kansas City’s potent attack. Offense won. Big time. 
6. Cincinnati (4-1)
Previous rank: 14
It’s time to start showing the Bengals some respect. 
7. Carolina (3-1)
Previous rank: 13
Eric Reid takes a knee again. Let’s recall he is not protesting the national anthem. He is using that moment in time to call attention to injustice against minorities. Don’t lose sight of that. 
8. Minnesota (2-2-1)
Previous rank: Adam Thielin’s rags to riches story is just incredible. Look it up. Read about it. Be amazed. 
9. Chicago (3-1)
Previous rank: 10
Khalil Mack had zero tackles, zero sacks and zero forced fumbles on Sunday. That was the first time he didn’t eclipse the Raiders’ sun. Mostly because he and the Bears were on a bye. 
10. L.A. Chargers (3-2)
Previous rank: 12
Chargers P.A. announcer refuses to call the Rams by their name when showing highlights at StubHub! Center, referring to them as “the other team in L.A.” Come on, bro. We all know you’re the other team in L.A. The one nobody bothers to go see. 
11. Baltimore (3-2)
Previous rank: 9
Michael Crabtree had a nasty case of the drops. He took the blame for the Browns loss. He was right. 
12. Green Bay (2-2-1)
Previous rank: 7
Aaron Rodgers can only do so much. Especially with the receiver corps in shambles. 
13. Philadelphia (2-3)
Previous rank: 9
The Super Bowl hangover is real. 
14. Tennessee (3-2)
Previous rank: 11
No way in holy heck Marcus Mariota can take this team to a division title. 
15. Pittsburgh (2-2-1)
Previous rank: 21
Go ‘head Mike. Write a check. Get after those refs. After all the bluster in his locker room, it’s time to light a fire under somebody’s rear end. 
16. Cleveland (2-2-1)
Previous rank: 25
The Browns aren’t going to blow anybody out, but they’re gonna scrap every week. Their rookie quarterback sets that tone. 
17. Miami (3-2)
Previous rank: 15
The Dolphins are crashing back to Earth. 
18. Denver (2-3)
Previous rank: 16
Broncos put Marquette on IR after just four games. All the extra cirriculars might be taking away from a world of talent. 
19. Seattle (2-3)
Previous rank: 22
The Seahawks took the Rams to the brink, fought the bear and lost. No shame in that. Russel Wilson has that team never saying die. 
20. Tampa Bay (2-2)
Previous rank: 18
The more we think about Tampa Bay’s prospects, the more that hot start seemed like a flash in the pan. 
21. Washington (2-2)
Previous rank: 17
Josh Norman got benched. Bummer Jay Gruden couldn’t do that for the entire Washington football club secondary. The Washington football club really made Drew Brees’ historic night a walk in the park.
22. Houston (2-3)
Previous rank: 27
DeShaun Watson is so important to what the Texans do. He has to stop taking so many hits. 
23. N.Y. Jets (2-3)
Previous rank: 29
Let’s put Sam Darnold back in the Hall of Fame. Big Apple press already has him there. 
24. Detroit (2-3)
Previous rank: 26
Lions win the turnover battle, get a win. Still don’t think there’s much going on in the Motor City. 
25. Buffalo (2-3)
Previous rank: 32
Sean McDermott was right in his postgame speech to the team. The Bills have guts. 
26. Dallas (2-3)
Previous rank: 20
Jerry Jones has been patient with Jason Garrett. The head coach choosing to punt late against Houston may have pushed Jerry over the edge. 
27. Atlanta (1-4)
Previous rank: 19
All those yards. All that talent. No wins to show for it. 
28. Indianapolis (1-4)
Previous rank: 28
Dearest mother, Andrew Luck here sending this dispatch after a beating in Boston. We shall expect several more unless the front office can put me in a fair fight. At this point, I fear the cavalry may never come and my time on the battlefield may be spent in waste. 
29. N.Y. Giants (1-3)
Previous rank: 30
Odell says (and we're paraphrasing here) he isn’t sure if Eli Manning stinks or not. We’ll clarify. He does. Big time. 
30. Raiders (1-4)
Previous rank: 24
Silver and Black got blown out by the Chargers. Blown. Out. They’ve got to fix problems or this season will mushroom cloud.

31. Cardinals (1-4)
Previous rank: 32
I have to alter my punchline a smidge. Playing the 49ers these days is like landing on a free space. Even for Arizona. (I kid, I kid. Sorta)
32. 49ers (1-4)
Previous rank: 23
You lose to the Cardinals, you go straight to the bottom. Them's the rules. The Santa Clarans might stay here a while. This team is struggling mightily, with no cavalry coming. All their big injuries were season enders. They miss Ken doll quarterback so, so, so bad. 

Raiders playing on 80-yard field won't change Jon Gruden's evaluation


Raiders playing on 80-yard field won't change Jon Gruden's evaluation

Jon Gruden didn’t have a problem with IG Field’s playing surface. The Raiders head coach made that clear after Thursday’s 22-21 preseason victory over the Green Bay Packers in Winnipeg, an exhibition played on an 80-yard field due to concerns over unstable turf in one end zone.

“The field, I don’t know that was all about,” Gruden said. “We thought the field was perfectly fine.”

Playing on unusual dimensions simply could be a novelty if the Raiders still found value in game tape.

Gruden said that was the case, and it won’t alter how they look at the game action taking place among backups, with starters and significant role players sitting this one out.

“It’s not going to change the evaluation, other than we didn’t get some kickoffs, or some opportunities in special teams,” Gruden said. “I’m not going to make a big deal about the field. We like the field. We thought the field was perfectly ready to roll. You’d have to ask Green Bay about that.

“It didn’t impact our play calling or our evaluations. We just adapted, as they did, to the new dimensions of the field.”

[RELATED: Peterman impresses Gruden again, has shot to make Raiders]

The Raiders gave a home preseason game to Winnipeg, making this the second of three straight exhibition games played away from Oakland. Gruden said the experience worked out just fine, and that the team doesn’t consider the extra travel or field issues or things like that a distraction from their preparation for the regular season.

“It’s weird playing a home game in Winnipeg, but it’s exciting,” Gruden said. “It’s a great opportunity to spend some time together. We left some players at home. We had some players show up and not play. It was a good road trip. There are not as many distractions here as people think. Antonio Brown’s doing fine. We have a good, young football team.”

Nathan Peterman could make Raiders’ roster after impressing Jon Gruden again

Nathan Peterman could make Raiders’ roster after impressing Jon Gruden again

Who doesn't love a good redemption story?

Nathan Peterman's career got off to about the worst start an NFL quarterback has ever had. He threw five interceptions in his first start for the Buffalo Bills, and he has been used as a punchline ever since.

Then he came to Oakland, and has caught the eye of Raiders coach Jon Gruden. 

Peterman has been in a battle with Mike Glennon for the Raiders' backup quarterback position throughout training camp and the preseason. Glennon has taken the second-string reps through the first three preseason games and appears to have the upper hand in the competition. 

But that doesn't mean Peterman will be looking for a new home soon. 

The Pittsburgh product has impressed Gruden throughout camp and the preseason, and he played well again Thursday night against the Green Bay Packers at IG Field in Winnipeg. 

Despite the shortened 80-yard field, Peterman continued his march into Gruden's heart and the Raiders' 53-man roster. After Glennon played the first quarter against the Packers, Peterman was handed the reins and did everything Gruden could have wanted, completing 23 of 37 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns, while also leading the Silver and Black into field-goal range to set up Daniel Carlson's game-winning 33-yard boot. 

The Raiders left Canada with a 22-21 win, and while a lot can't be gleaned from a game played on a shortened field, Peterman's performance was something to note. 

"Well, we had seen enough of Glennon, to be honest," Gruden said after the game of the snap discrepancy. "He played very well in Arizona [last week]. I thought he did some good things tonight.

”I like Peterman. I've said that for a while now, and I thought he had two touchdown passes that were dropped today, right on the money. Had a couple other balls that were dropped, right on the money. He took care of the ball. Didn't turn it over throughout the preseason. He's athletic. 

"I like what he did tonight. Especially late in the football game."

Those statements would lead you to believe Glennon has won the backup job, but Gruden wasn't ready to make that announcement. 

"I'm not going to get into anything right now other than we got two pretty good quarterbacks that are competing for the No. 2 spot," Gruden said. "We call the game differently when Mike is in there than when Nate is in there. That will be the case if we keep all three, or whoever the backup is. I thought both of those guys performed well the last three games."

The Raiders didn't keep three quarterbacks on their roster last season, and most expected the Silver and Black to have just two when the Denver Broncos come to the Coliseum to open the regular season on Sept. 9. 

[RELATED: Raiders receivers coach breaks down stacked position group]

Peterman's play, however, might have changed the equation. 

"I've always kept three — last year was the first time we didn't," Gruden said. "I'm not saying we're going to keep two or three, but we are going to try and keep the best 53 guys. We've got three guys who can play the position, and we'll have to make that decision here in the next week."

Peter-Can make the roster? You bet.