Jackson: Raiders are best in the AFC West
Hue Jackson isn't about to back down now.
He took the job as the Raiders head coach talking
about relentlessly chasing perfection, winning the AFC West and going
to the Super Bowl.
A .500 record a quarter of the way through the
season hasn't caused him to alter his expectations.
"I expected to be 4-0. I really did," Jackson
said. "We're going to get this thing going right. We're going to go to
work, we're going to fix this thing, I guarantee you that.
"We're not backing down from what the expectation
is here by no stretch of the imagination.
"We're going to win the AFC West. We're going to
do everything we can to get in the playoffs and challenge for a Super
The Raiders have a difficult road game against the
Houston Texans next, but then comes a stretch of three home games where
they could conceivably be favored -- Cleveland, Kansas City and Denver.
Even with a loss in Houston, it's not
inconceivable Oakland could hit the midway point of the season at 5-3.
Jackson was encouraged by the fact that unlike a
38-35 loss to Buffalo in Week 2, Raiders players avoided
finger-pointing with regards to teammates and refrained from blaming
officials after calls went against them.
"Everything is a process," Jackson said. "We're
going to do things the right way, and I believe we have to to get where
we want to go. We don't run from hard work, we run to it. We wanted to
be better than 2-2, but here we are. We've got to take it."
Cornerback Stanford Routt understands the stakes
will increase every week the rest of the season.
"We just finished the first quarter of the season.
We've got 12 more," Routt said. "All the challenges from here on out,
they're just going to get bigger and more important."
Campbell Went Toe-to-Toe With Brady Until...
--For a time, Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell
looked as if he belonged on the field with Tom Brady.
And then he didn't.
The first of two Campbell interceptions Sunday let
the air out of the Coliseum in a 31-19 loss to the New England Patriots
as the Raiders fell to 2-2.
With the Raiders facing second-and-goal at the
6-yard line not long after a 30-yard bolt on a reverse by Jacoby Ford,
Campbell scrambled out of trouble and looked to find an open receiver
in the end zone.
Instead he found New England safety Patrick Chung
all alone with no one around him. And then threw him the ball.
"I started out fast, ready to play," Campbell
said. "Unfortunately made a boneheaded mistake on the interception.
That cost us. That's something I usually don't do. From that point on,
I think it kind of stemmed the momentum. It changed the whole game. It
changes the whole mind-set."
Campbell completed 25 of 39 passes for 344 yards,
his highest figure as a Raider. Tellingly, his other two big-yardage
games -- 324 yards last season against Jacksonville and 323 yards in
Week 2 this year against Buffalo, came in losses.
However, in the Buffalo game, Campbell twice
brought his team from behind in the fourth quarter and nearly on the
game's final play, when his Hail Mary pass was nearly caught by
Denarius Moore in the end zone but instead ended up an interception.
The Raiders offense is better off with the kind of
balance Brady and Co. showed. The New England quarterback was 16 of 30
for 226 yards and two touchdowns, and he didn't come close to throwing
an interception. The Patriots rushed 30 times for 183 yards and had 11
first downs rushing, 11 passing.
The Raiders were forced to ditch their running
game once New England punched in a touchdown to make it 24-10. The
Raiders countered with only a field goal, and then the Patriots scored
again to make it 31-13.
"We felt like we're a really good offense and we
could match the Patriots if it came to that, we could go point for
point with them," Campbell said. "One mistake like the interception
throws you out of it."
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