The Oakland Raiders have at least managed one thing during their dreary 2012 campaign -- they've managed to stay out of last place in the Associated Press Pro32 NFL power rankings.
Despite last Sunday's 20-17 loss to the Cleveland Browns, their fifth defeat in a row, the Raiders remained at No. 31, with 25 points, in the lastest AP rankings released Tuesday.
The Raiders are only one ranking point ahead of the last-place Jacksonville Jaguars, who were 30th going into Sunday's play but dropped two spots after losing on the road to the Buffalo Bills 34-18.
Last week's last-place team, the Kansas City Chiefs, recovered from Saturday's tragic events to score a 27-21 win Sunday over the Carolina Panthers. That victory elevated the Chiefs two ranking spots to No. 30, five points ahead of the Raiders.
The Raiders have their next chance to break their losing streak on Thursday, when they host the 9-3 Denver Broncos. It's a tall task for Oakland -- Denver comes in as the fourth-ranked team in the poll.
Comments on the Raiders by the AP Pro32 panel (ranking in parentheses):
Chris Berman (ESPN, 32) -- Surprised that it's this bad.
Clifton Brown (Sporting News, 32) -- General manager Reggie McKenzie expected this to be a challenge. It is.
Rich Gannon (CBS Sports/SiriusXM NFL Radio, 32) -- They simply are a really bad team right now and as a former Raider, it pains me to say that.
Bob Glauber (Newsday, 32) -- Five straight losses and counting, and now a Thursday game against the Broncos. Just a complete mess at every level.
Rick Gosselin (Dallas Morning News, 30) -- Carson Palmer has passed for 300 yards six times this season and the Raiders have lost all six games. Oakland has lost five in a row and Palmer has 300-yard games in four of them.
Clark Judge (CBSSports.com, 30) -- When they talk about the Black Hole in Oakland they're referring to the empty seats for the Raiders' Dec. 16 date with Kansas City.
Ira Kaufman (Tampa Tribune, 31) -- The NFL's worst point differential resides in the East Bay.
Pat Kirwan (SiriusXM NFL Radio/CBSSports.com, 32) -- Mark Davis should have expected these results when he took over. The Raiders aren't quitters, they just aren't good enough and without McFadden touching the ball 20-25 times a game they don't have a chance.
John Lynch (Fox Sports, 32) -- The Raiders turnaround has a long way to go ... condolences to Dennis Allen and his family as they mourn the loss of his father.
Alex Marvez (Foxsports.com, 30) -- Can things get worse in Oakland after a five-game losing streak? You bet -- Denver (9-3) comes to the Bay Area for a Thursday night matchup.
Dan Pompei (Chicago Tribune, 28) -- Have they begun packing up the U-hauls yet?