Originally published on Silver & Black Report on May 1, 2014
Yes, you heard it right, I am going to be one of “those guys” that does a way-too-early prediction of where this team ends up now that the season’s schedule has been released.
The Raiders face the toughest schedule on paper, facing opponents that won .578 of their games last season as a whole.
Roger Goodell and the NFL didn’t exactly help the Raiders with the first quarter of their schedule, starting them out on the East Coast against the Jets. The Raiders have lost 13-straight East Coast games, which very well could continue this season. Following their home-opener in week two, the Raiders head back to the East Coast to take on the Patriots before heading even further East to take on the Miami Dolphins in London. Needless to say, that’s a lot of travel for the first four weeks.
Anyways, if you haven’t seen the schedule yet, you can see it here. If you have and want to see my predictions as to what may happen this season, keep reading below. With the draft still to come and all of offseason workouts and training camp, let’s move on to my “way-too-early” prediction:
Week 1 – at New York Jets || Result: WIN
I know, I know, I brought up the stat about the Raiders losing 13 games in a row on the East Coast, but streaks have to end at some point, right? I think the Raiders will match up well against the Jets. The Raiders will come out active and feeding off the adrenaline of the season starting and leave New York with their first victory on the East Coast in 13 games.
Week 2 – Houston Texans || Result: WIN
“Woah,” you say? Yes, the Raiders will once again be victorious as they host the Houston Texans for the home opener. The Raiders have won three out of their last four home openers and will make it four out of five this year. Schaub will look to prove against his old team that last season was a fluke year and the Raiders will walk away from the week 2-0.
Week 3 – at New England Patriots || Result: LOSS
Despite thinking they will beat the Jets in week one, there’s no questioning that the Raiders have struggled in the Eastern time zone. It doesn’t help that they’ll be going up Tom Brady and the Patriots who are perennially in contention in the playoffs, or close to them. The Patriots will be too much for the Raiders as they leave Foxborough with their first loss of the season.
Week 4 – Miami Dolphins (London) || Result: LOSS
Whether it’s the East Coast thing or not, the Miami Dolphins have had the upper hand against the Raiders as of late and have won the last four contests between the two teams. The Dolphins will continue this streak at Wembley Stadium in London, dropping the Raiders to .500 heading into their bye.
Week 5 – BYE
Week 6 – San Diego Chargers || Result: WIN
The Raiders found a way to jump out in front of the Chargers at home last season and will do the same this year. Schaub will get the offense rolling while the Raiders secondary will frustrate Phillip Rivers and the Chargers passing game. Raiders get their season back above .500.
Week 7 – Arizona Cardinals || Result: WIN
Raider Nation will be welcoming some former Raiders back to town in Carson Palmer and Jared Veldheer but I expect Palmer to have an errant game with a couple of turnovers to set up the Raiders offense with some easy scores. It will be a hard-fought victory for the Raiders against a tough Cardinals defense.
Week 8 – at Cleveland Browns || Result: LOSS
This will just be one of those games the Raiders seem to have at times that leaves you scratching your head. The Raiders haven’t won in Cleveland since they were the Los Angeles Raiders in 1985. They’re also 4-8 against the Browns in all since then.
Week 9 – at Seattle Seahawks || Result: LOSS
The Seahawks are the defending Super Bowl champions for a reason: simply put, they’re good. The Raiders offense will struggle to get going against that stout defense and Russell Wilson and the offense will make enough plays to get the victory.
Week 10 – Denver Broncos || Result: LOSS
The Raiders are winless against a Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos team and it will be hard to halt that streak this year. Granted, I do believe if they were going to steal one away from Manning and the Broncos it would have to be this one at home as opposed to the one at Mile High. The Raiders losing streak extends to three straight.
Week 11 – at San Diego Chargers || Result: LOSS
The Raiders will split the season series with the Chargers just as they did last season. Phillip Rivers and the Chargers offense will make adjustments from the first game and hand the Raiders another loss on the year.
Week 12 – Kansas City Chiefs || Result: LOSS
The Raiders only primetime game in 2014 is certainly a tough match-up as they host the Kansas City Chiefs. Let’s hope this won’t be a Jamaal Charles screen drill again and the Raiders can make the proper adjustments to prevent the 56-31 blowout loss that happened at O.Co last season. The Raiders struggled mightily against the Chiefs last year, it’s hard to see it changing so quickly. If the Raiders were to sneak one away from KC, it would certainly be this one at home.
Week 13 – at St. Louis Rams || Result: WIN
There’s not much of a sample size but the Raiders are 8-4 when taking on the St. Louis Rams. I expect that to increase to 9-4 as Oakland frustrates the Rams offense en route to halting their losing streak.
Week 14 – San Francisco 49er’s || Result: LOSS
The 49er’s recent success isn’t a fluke. They rely on stout defense and a steady offense to get the job done and the Raiders will struggle against another very tough NFC West defense. The Battle of the Bay will finally be back but it won’t be in the Raiders favor this time.
Week 15 – at Kansas City Chiefs || Result: LOSS
The Raiders had a better chance to pull out the win at home and will have a rough time in front of the rowdy crowd at Arrowhead. The Raiders will be swept by the Chiefs just as they were last season.
Week 16 – Buffalo Bills || Result: WIN
Oakland has lost their last two games against Buffalo by a total of four points. Those two losses were on the road and the Raiders will look to get a win in front of the final home crowd of the season, barring a playoff berth. The Raiders defense will bottle up C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson as the Raiders pull off the win.
Week 17 – at Denver Broncos || Result: LOSS
The Broncos could very well be fighting for seeding in the playoffs again, or Manning could be looking to beat his record or others and the Raiders could fall victim to that for a second straight year. The Broncos are tough to beat with Peyton Manning and that offense, but they’re even tougher at home. Raiders fall to lose their fourth-straight season finale.
Like I stated above, this is just an early prediction just for fun. This can all change greatly with the draft still to come and training camp and actually seeing the team on the practice field. The Raiders need to have a solid draft and certainly have the potential to increase their wins in 2014, despite a very difficult schedule.