Jordan says Oakland back in the race

Now that the Raiders have got their maiden victory of 2006 out of the way, running back LaMont Jordan believes Oakland is capable of getting back in the race in the AFC West.

''Mathematically we're still in this thing and (beating Arizona) was just the first step,'' said Jordan, who sat out the win over the Cardinals because of a sore back. ''We've still got a long way to go but for once you can come here ... with a smile on your face. Hopefully we can continue to get better and improve.''

Oakland's 22-9 win over Arizona snapped an 11-game losing streak for the Raiders and gave the team its first victory in head coach Art Shell's second tour of duty with the team.

At 1-5, Oakland no longer owns the distinction of having the worst record in football, either. The 1-6 Cardinals, Dolphins and Lions now share that title.

The Raiders still remain four games behind Denver in the AFC West. The Broncos are 5-1, followed by San Diego (4-2) and Kansas City (3-3).

For Oakland to get back into the hunt, it would need all three teams ahead in the dicision to stumble. The Raiders would also need to turn around their fortunes within the AFC West, having gone 1-11 against the Broncos, Chargers and Chiefs over the last two seasons.

Oakland hosts Pittsburgh this week then travels to Seattle before playing all three division opponents on consecutive weekends.

''They've got to believe that they can win every game,'' Raiders head coach Art Shell said. ''You're going to lose some during the course of the year (and) we've had our share of losses. Now we need to continue to win.''


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