Raiders Coach Thinks They're Still The Best

Jason Campbell (Getty Images)

Chalk it up to inexperience as a head coach. Raiders' head coach Hue Jackson makes a bold prediction after getting beaten 31-19 by the New England Patriots.

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 Bowl."

   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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