Raiders not short on swagger; coach predicts division title

First-year Oakland Raiders coach Hue Jackson on Monday matter-of-factly predicted that his 2-2 team, which hasn't made the postseason since losing the Super Bowl in January 2003, would win its division this season.

"We're going to win the AFC West," Jackson told reporters one day after Oakland was handled at home by the New England Patriots, 31-19. "We're going to do everything we can to get in the playoffs and go challenge for a Super Bowl. I am not backing down from that."

The Raiders have struggled defensively, tied for second worst with 28.3 points per game allowed through four games. The offense has been much better but had its own problems against the Patriots.

The Raiders gained a season-high 504 yards of offense but were held to a season-low 19 points because they couldn't finish off enough drives with touchdowns and committed a pair of costly turnovers that ultimately doomed them.

"We're going to fix it, and we have just the men to do it," Jackson said. "What we got to do is go out and do it, and do it consistently, play in and play out. There's flashes of brilliance of this football team, whether it be offense or defense or special teams. And then all of sudden, sometimes things don't go the way we want them to. What we got to do is become a very consistent football team, and I think we can, and I think we will."

The Raiders (2-2) have alternated wins and losses this season, going from a season-opening win in Denver to a second-half collapse in Buffalo to an impressive victory over the Jets to the latest loss to the Patriots.

Now Oakland is in for another tough test this week with a trip to Houston to play a 3-1 Texans team fresh off a victory over defending AFC champion Pittsburgh.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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