There it is, in all its majesty, that mythic object for which the Raiders have spent seven years searching.

Upon them at long last is The Corner.

You know, The Corner they've spent years trying to turn.

The Raiders haven't quite turned it, but they reached it Sunday afternoon with their second consecutive spectacular performance, this one a 33-3 smashing of the Seattle Seahawks before an intimate but ecstatic audience (35,721) at the Oakland Coliseum.

The victory validates Oakland's return to credibility. It represents the first time in nearly two seasons the Raiders (4-4) have won successive games and the first time in five seasons that they surpassed 30 points in back-to-back games.

For the first time since the Super Bowl season of 2002, Oakland will enter November with at least a .500 record, allowing its coaches and players to begin the second half of the season with more incentive than bare dignity and minimum respect. They can coach and play for something beyond future job security or opportunity.

"We just know we've got Kansas City next week," coach Tom Cable said. "And it's a big game."

It's a significant game because the Raiders have a chance grab the heels of the surprising Chiefs, who'll enter the Coliseum as leaders of the AFC West. Though Oakland can't take over first place -- Kansas City is 5-2 -- it can get close enough to see it.


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"If you ask me if this is a playoff game this week, yes it is," quarterback Jason Campbell said, after acknowledging the team has put itself in position to contend for the postseason.

That's a dramatic turnaround from recent years, an escape from the franchise's well-publicized madness, a move past such memories as overhead-projector firings, bed-and-breakfast proprietors hired to run the offense, wild offseason spending sprees and, of course, the regrettable three-year experiment that was JaMarcus Russell.

They have done it by going back to basics, by relying on Just Plain Football.

"This is what I saw in our team when I came over here last year," defensive lineman Richard Seymour said. "This is the kind of thing me and Mr. (Al) Davis talked about."

Coming from New England, a three-time Super Bowl winner, Seymour is one of the few Raiders familiar with winning in the NFL. He was asked to set a standard, help establish a new culture that would pull this team out of a wilderness of its own making.

The Raiders responded to an embarrassing Oct. 17 loss to the then-winless 49ers by going on the road and executing a 59-14 thrashing of Denver. They followed that up by dismantling the Seahawks, who arrived in Oakland atop the NFC West.

If the combined 92-17 score over the past two games is any indication, Seymour and his teammates are succeeding.

"This is one of the reasons I came to camp early, to develop chemistry with my teammates," Seymour said.

Rarely in the annals of the NFL has a team looked so rudderless during the first four weeks of the season -- the Raiders lost three of their first four -- yet come back to conclude the next four weeks so impressively.

"When we won that way at Denver, the league probably looked at it like a fluke," center Samson Satele said. "But we did it again. It's not a fluke. We want to do this every week."

Almost in a blink, the Raiders have transformed from one of the league's least relevant teams to one of its most dangerous.

One week after gashing Denver for 508 yards in total offense, the Raiders torched Seattle for 545 -- the first consecutive 500-yard games in franchise history. After limiting the Broncos to 240 yards in offense, the Seahawks managed only 162. Oakland not only beat the Seahawks but punished them, as was previously the case with the Broncos.

And the crowd was feeling it, uttering in unison the serenade rarely heard in recent years: Raaayyyders & Raaayyyders & Raaayyyders.

This Raiders' uprising is as fascinating as it is astonishing, as if their weaknesses on both sides of the ball have been erased -- and replaced by pillars of strength.

Both lines once again were fabulous. Darren McFadden ran for 111 yards. Oft-ridiculed wideout Darrius Heyward-Bey played his best game, as did fullback Marcel Reece. Campbell threw for 310 yards, with a 120.9 passer rating.

Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson and defensive coordinator John Marshall have never looked wiser. Cable has never had a tighter grip on his job.

The Raiders haven't turned The Corner; that can't happen until they have more wins than losses. But they have found it. That in itself is a small victory.

Contact Monte Poole at mpoole@bayareanewsgroup.com.