Raiders return from Mexico City with playoff hopes growing (The Associated Press)

Jack Del Rio seemed almost shocked as he walked into the news conference Tuesday and made his way past a growing group of TV cameras and reporters. ”I thought it would be thin today,” Del Rio said, about nine hours after the Raiders arrived back in California following a 27-20 win over the Houston Texans in Mexico City. At 8-2, the Raiders have a one-game lead in the AFC West and are tied with the New England Patriots for the best record in the conference – a remarkable turnaround for a team that lost its first 10 games two years ago and hasn’t had a winning season since last making the playoffs in 2002.