Oakland Raiders Schedule 2017-18: Game-by-Game Predictions for the Entire Season
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When the NFL released schedules for the previous season, many placed the Oakland Raiders in the range of 10 or 11 wins. The Silver and Black pushed for 12 wins and narrowly missed an AFC West division crown. After the league revealed the 2017 schedule, the fanbase expects to see continued excellence with a Super Bowl victory at the finish.
This year, the Raiders’ Super Bowl aspirations fall within reach; it’s no longer far-fetched optimism from a proud fanbase. With some tweaks to the defense and quarterback Derek Carr in full health, the Raiders pose a legitimate threat to the New England Patriots. Of course, they’ll have to clear the first hurdle within the divisionâ??the Kansas City Chiefs.
It’s fitting the Raiders will match up against the Patriots in Mexico City. Will Oakland find a way to beat Kansas City this year? How many games will the Silver and Black win this season? We’ll go through each game with early predraft analysis and game-by-game predictions.
Week 1: Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans
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Kickoff time and network: Sunday, Sept. 10, at 10 a.m. PT on CBS
The Raiders beat the Tennessee Titans in a low-scoring 17-10 outcome last year. Expect another physical grinder between the two teams. Ironically, both quarterbacks, who suffered broken fibulas in Week 16 of the previous season, will shake off the cobwebs in their first games.
The Titans’ exotic smashmouth ground attack will pose more problems for the run defense. The Raiders absolutely need an interior defender to fill his role as a gap-stuffer who’s able to penetrate the Titans’ rough-and-tumble offensive line.
Despite wide receivers Rishard Matthews’ and Tajae Sharpe’s contributions in the previous season, Delanie Walker will pose the biggest receiving threat to the Raiders defense. Safety coverage will be a key factor in limiting the Titans’ veteran tight end downfield.
Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau’s secondary still needs time to develop before it’s able to stop high-end passing attacks. Wide receiver Amari Cooper will show up huge in this matchup with a 100-yard game.
Week 2: New York Jets at Oakland Raiders
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Kickoff time and network: Sunday, Sept. 17, at 1:05 p.m. PT on CBS
Head coach Jack Del Rio wouldn’t use the term cupcake to describe the New York Jets on the schedule, but it’s a game the Raiders should win. Gang Green hasn’t established its franchise signal-caller, the front office must reconstruct the secondary after releasing cornerback Darrelle Revis and the roster lost several veteran players during the offseason.
Cornerbacks David Amerson and Sean Smith will look like Pro Bowlers against a conservative Jets offense predicated on short pass plays and the ground attack. This contest may spiral out of control before halftime. New York won’t have to pick its poison because Oakland will supply both in a balanced attack.
Quarterback Carr should accumulate 300-plus passing yards. The bruising ball-carrier in the backfield, whether it’s Marshawn Lynch or a rookie, should have plenty of opportunities to score in goal-line situations.
Week 3: Oakland Raiders at Washington Redskins
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Kickoff time and network: Sunday, Sept. 24, at 5:30 p.m. PT on NBC
The Washington Redskins went through a rocky offseason. The front office ousted general Scot McCloughan in a bizarre and public breakup. For the time being, quarterback Kirk Cousins signed another franchise tag worth $23.9 million, per Spotrac, which places another Band-Aid on the team’s outlook at the most important position on the roster.
The Raiders front seven shouldn’t have an issue stonewalling running backs Rob Kelley, Chris Thompson or Matt Jones. Furthermore, Cousins lost two starting wide receivers in Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson. The latter would’ve been critical to beating Amerson or Smith deep. Though, wideout Terrelle Pryor may burn the secondary for a catch or two.
With turnover at the top and long-term uncertainty at quarterback, expect a down season for Washington. Change and a tentative future for Cousins won’t serve the Redskins well. Times have changed. The Redskins will be embroiled in turmoil. Personnel-wise, it’s the Raiders who have dotted their i’s and crossed their t’s.
Week 4: Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos
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Kickoff time and network: Sunday, Oct. 1, at 1:25 p.m. PT on CBS
The Raiders didn’t see running back C.J. Anderson, who only played seven games, on the field in the previous season. If he’s healthy enough to play in the backfield alongside Devontae Booker, the Broncos have enough to target the Raiders front seven on the ground and in the short passing attack.
Despite hiring a defensive-minded head coach in Vance Joseph, the Broncos have offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave on staff to fill in the blind spots. Both assistants possess insight on the Raiders as an opponent and former assistant to Del Rio.
Quarterback Trevor Siemian will hand off approximately 30 times to test the Raiders’ defensive front. Short passes to the running backs in the flat will haunt Ken Norton’s defense throughout the contest. The Broncos win a tight game at home and hand the Raiders their first loss.
Week 5: Baltimore Ravens at Oakland Raiders
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