OAKLAND -- The Raiders came within one win of edging the Denver Broncos for the AFC West title last season. Today, the teams seem light years apart.
The Broncos beat the Raiders 26-13 on Thursday night for their eighth straight victory and improved to 10-3. The Raiders dropped to 3-10 after losing for the sixth straight time.
Broncos standout cornerback Champ Bailey said he sees a team that is in the process of finding the proper players for their schemes and adjusting to new coaching.
"It's a combination of a lot of things," Bailey said of the Raiders free-fall from 8-8 last season. "Once they get their personnel that they want and what coach (Dennis) Allen wants, things will start working out. It starts from the top. At some point, they'll get it together."
But when? The Raiders are in their 10th straight season of not posting a winning record or making the playoffs.
The more they try, the worse things seem to get. Meanwhile, the Broncos went from 4-12 in 2010 to 8-8 last season to a legitimate Super Bowl contender this season.
Allen, the coordinators and the players maintain the Raiders are talented enough to win right now.
Broncos nose tackle Justin Bannan agreed the Raiders don't lack for talent. It's a slew of other things conspiring against them right now.
"You have to understand, they lost their owner, they changed management, they got a new head coach," Bannan said. "They got a combination of stuff
Bannan said signing quarterback Peyton Manning helped the Broncos make the quantum leap from an average team to the one that is running roughshod over the league right now.
The Broncos also have Bailey and linebackers Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil playing at a high level on defense.
Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams said the Raiders have the talent, but it takes more than talent to win games.
"In terms of pure numbers, they are the biggest, fastest team in the league," Williams said. "But in the NFL, every team has talent. It's about jelling and getting on the same page."
Raiders owner Mark Davis told Allen last month that the way the Raiders are playing "isn't good enough." Davis added he wants to see progress.
The Raiders and Allen have three more games to impress Davis. There's nothing to say that Allen is assured of being back next season.
Bailey said the Raiders would make a mistake if they don't keep Allen beyond this season.
"He did some good things for us here," said Bailey, in reference to Allen being the Broncos defensive coordinator in 2011. "I got to give him a lot of credit. He earned that job, and he deserves to keep trying to put those winning seasons together. He's a good football mind."