When the season began, a lot of people thought the Raiders had the look of a four-win team. Not many had the Raiders getting those wins by midseason. The Raiders can improve their record to 4-4 Sunday with a win over the Philadelphia Eagles at O.co Coliseum, a mediocre record until last season's 4-12 record and subsequent roster purge is taken into account. "It'd be a huge statement for us as a team," Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston said. Philadelphia (3-5) has restructured its systems of offense and defense under first-year coach Chip Kelly much as the Raiders did under Dennis Allen a year ago. With 10 starters who weren't around in 2012 on defense and Terrelle Pryor emerging as the starting quarterback, the Raiders are dramatically different on both sides of the ball from last year. Whether they're good enough to climb to .500 and beyond is a story that will begin to play itself out in a midseason home game that precedes a brutal stretch of four road games in distant locales over the next five weeks. While Allen has strayed from looking too far into the future while concentrating on the task at hand, he sees the Philadelphia game as a chance for the Raiders make a name for themselves. "It's time for us," Allen said. "If we're going to do something, we need to start making some sort of moves." The Raiders were 3-5 at the halfway point a year ago and were 4-4 in both 2010 and 2011. Aside from getting to .500, beating the Eagles would give the Raiders back-to-back victories, something they haven't done this season and have done only once since Allen became coach last year. "Like I've said from the beginning, I like this team and I think we have a good team," Allen said. "We need to be a more consistent team. That's what the really good teams are able to do. There's been a lot of emphasis this week in going out and doing our job, being consistent, executing our responsibilities and doing it fast." Toward that end, players were given shiny black lunch pails that had the 21-18 score of last week's Pittsburgh game and a label that said "lunch pail game." Pryor didn't think getting to four wins was overly significant because either this week or at some point in near future it's a foregone conclusion.
Raiders look to climb to .500 and beyond
Oakland Tribune | Nov 3