After five weeks of the season, the Raiders are the only unbeaten team left in the NFL. If the league handed out its awards based on five games, Bill Callahan would be coach of the year, Rich Gannon would be the MVP and Phillip Buchanon rookie of the year.
The Raiders were the best team in the NFL in September and should be the best team again in October. The Raiders should be among the best teams in November as well. But December is when it will get dicey for the Raiders.
It always does.
The Raiders are ancient. They have the oldest starting lineup in the league, with an average age of 29.6 years and the second-oldest roster at 27.5 years. Eight of their starters are over 30 and a ninth—Jerry Rice—turns 40 this Sunday.
Al Davis has always been an owner who built teams to win now. The future is for fools. Win while you can.
— Rick Gosselin, The Dallas Morning News “Expect Raiders to run usual fade route”
The Raiders lost their next four, hitting the halfway point at 4-4. They went 7-1 to end the season, including defeats of the Broncos (twice), Chargers, Chiefs and Cardinals by twenty points or more.