The Oakland Raiders 2017 schedule was released earlier this week. It is way too early for game-by-game predictions considering the NFL Draft is approaching and teams can still fill out rosters with free agency acquisitions. Nonetheless, it is interesting to build expectations by breaking down each regular season matchup. Here are way too early game-by-game predictions, TV broadcast scheduled times, and more for the Oakland Raiders.
Week 1: Sun., Sept. 10 at Tennessee Titans 10:00 a.m. CBS
Over the past two seasons, the Raiders have squeaked by with a win over the Titans. This year, they are a team on the rise. Quarterback Marcus Mariota looked good on the tail end of last season. He and tight end Delanie Walker can exploit weaknesses in the Raiders’ defense. Plus, the Titans defense should continue improving, especially if they invest one of those two first-round picks into the unit. Raiders lose this one close on the road.
Result: 23-20 Record: 0-1
Week 2: Sun., Sept. 17 New York Jets 1:05 p.m. CBS
The Raiders offensive line has their work cut out for them against the deep defensive line of the Jets. However, New York still does not offer much on the offensive side of the ball. Their offense should also take a step back without receiver Brandon Marshall. Oakland should win this one at home, but it will be closer than the final score indicates.
Result: 30-17 Record: 1-1
Week 3: Sun., Sept. 24 at Washington Redskins 5:30 p.m. NBC
Another tough road game here. The Raiders must travel to the East Coast for a primetime game. Washington has yet to replace starting receivers Pierre Garcon and Desean Jackson from last season. Plus, do you know who their starting running back is? Either way, quarterbacks Kirk Cousins and Derek Carr will duel it out in this Sunday Night Football game. Carr gets the edge since he has more talent around him.
Result: 37-27 Record: 2-1
Week 4: Sun., Oct. 1 at Denver Broncos 1:25 p.m. CBS
The Raiders will open up their AFC West schedule against the Denver Broncos. Between Broncos corner Aquib Talib trying to take Raiders receiver Michael Crabtree’s chain again and watching both Khalil Mack and Von Miller rack up sacks versus each others’ team, this game should be plenty of fun. Regardless, the Raiders finally have more talent than Denver. They split the series last season, but Oakland gets a convincing win here.
Result: 13-24 Record: 3-1
Week 5: Sun., Oct. 8 Baltimore Ravens 1:05 p.m. CBS
Again, the Raiders played some really close games versus the Ravens over the past two seasons. Nonetheless, Baltimore lost some veteran presences like Timmy Jernigan, Steve Smith Sr., and Elvis Dumervil. Baltimore’s pass rush and the Ravens’ offensive passing game should suffer. Moreover, the Ravens lost two starters on the offensive line to free agency. Hence, this should be the year that the Raiders win an easy game versus the visiting Ravens.
Result: 34-27 Record: 4-1
Week 6: Sun., Oct. 15 Los Angeles Chargers 1:25 p.m. CBS
Chargers and Raiders games are always super close. Last year, the Raiders beat the Chargers at home thanks to a muffed last second field goal from the Bolts. This game should be another close one. Ultimately, turnovers are the difference. Creating takeaways was about the only thing that the Raiders defense did right last season. They will force Philip Rivers into some interceptions, which will help Oakland get a victory.
Result: 38-31 Record: 5-1
Week 7: Thu., Oct. 19 Kansas City Chiefs 5:25 p.m. CBS/NFLN/Amazon
Another primetime game, but this one is on a short week and against a division opponent that has beat the Raiders five times in a row. For what it is worth, the Raiders last beat the Chiefs on a Thursday Night. Regardless, the Chiefs are still stout on the defensive line and in the secondary. A healthy Eric Berry and Justin Houston will give Derek Carr nightmares. On offense, the Chiefs still have small and fast receivers that give the Raiders trouble. Therefore, Kansas City should win this game. I could see Marcus Peters making a game-changing play for the Chiefs in what could be Peters’ last game in his hometown, Oakland.
Result: 17-31 Record: 5-2
Week 8: Sun., Oct. 29 at Buffalo Bills 10:00 a.m. CBS
Again, the Raiders travel to the East Coast. It wasn’t until last season that the team finally found a way to win in that time zone. Buffalo could be a playoff contender thanks to their strong defense and running attack. That is a recipe that should challenge the Raiders. However, the Bills do not have the secondary to match the Raiders’ receivers. Amari Cooper has a big game for the Silver and Black, so they can grab this road victory.
Result: 27-17 Record: 6-2
Week 9: Sun., Nov. 5 at Miami Dolphins 5:30 p.m. NBC
Oakland faces another challenging road game as they travel to face the playoff-contending Dolphins for a primetime kickoff. Miami will use their mobile quarterback and big receivers to test the Raiders defense. The Dolphins also have a strong defense that will make the Raiders work for their points. Either way, Carr leads the Raiders in a late game surge on Sunday Night.
Result: 28-24 Result: 7-2
Week 10: BYE WEEK
Week 11: Sun., Nov. 19 New England Patriots 1:25 p.m. CBS
It would be great to see the young Raiders beat the defending champions, especially since this game will basically be a home game for the Raiders in Mexico City. Unfortunately, the Patriots got even better after they won the Super Bowl. New England added corner Stephon Gilmore. Then they traded for Kony Ealy and Dwayne Allen without giving up anything. Plus, they added a dynamic receiver like Brandin Cooks. Cooks will probably shred the Raiders secondary since they have trouble with speed. Patriots win convincingly, despite a great effort from the Raiders offense.
Result: 31-45 Record: 7-3
Week 12: Sun., Nov. 26 Denver Broncos 1:25 p.m. CBS
At this point in the season, the Broncos will be battling to stay alive for the Playoffs. Therefore, they will give the Raiders a game. Expect Von Miller to dominate and try to take this game over. However, the Raiders have their own game-changing edge rusher. Khalil Mack should be just as good as Miller. Oakland wins a defensive battle at home.
Result: 21-13 Record: 8-3
Week 13: Sun., Dec. 3 New York Giants 1:25 p.m. FOX
This game could go either way as the Giants and Raiders have similar roster builds. The Giants have a high-powered offense. They also have an improving defense that plays fast and they can create turnovers. This should be a high-scoring game for the fans in Oakland. The Silver and Black get the edge due to their home field advantage and superior offensive line.
Result: 41-38 Record: 9-3
Week 14: Sun., Dec. 10 at Kansas City Chiefs 10:00 a.m. CBS
The Raiders drought against the Chiefs finally ends here. Yes, they are going into Kansas City, which is one of the hardest places to win. However, Oakland will look for a statement win. Their secondary and defense should be playing well at this point. Oakland contains the Chiefs’ small receivers and they find a way to win on the road.
Result: 28-21 Record: 10-3
Week 15: Sun., Dec. 17 Dallas Cowboys 5:30 p.m. NBC
The Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders have arguably the two best offensive lines in the entire NFL. Expect this game to revolve around which team can run the ball more efficiently. Ultimately, the winner will be decided based on which defense performs the best. Dallas has some weak links in the secondary. Crabtree and Cooper should exploit that on Sunday night.
Result: 27-17 Record: 11-3
Week 16: Mon., Dec. 25 at Philadelphia Eagles 5:30 p.m. ESPN
This game is a tough one. More East Coast Travel. This time it is for a Monday Night game on Christmas Day. The Eagles should be better than they were last season. Philadelphia is not better than Oakland, but they do have the home field advantage. It should be a freezing game which reduces the Raiders’ passing attack. On the other side, Philadelphia has a defense that plays hard and fast. The Raiders have their first letdown game of the season.
Result: 21-17 Record: 11-4
Week 17: Sun., Dec. 31 at Los Angeles Chargers 1:25 p.m. CBS
For the Raiders, this might be their eighth home game. It depends on the Chargers’ season. The 30,000-plus seat StubHub Center might split between Chargers and Raiders fans if the Bolts are relevant in the last week season. Otherwise, this game might be all Silver and Black. Either way, the Raiders beat the Chargers in another close one.
Result: 28-17 Record: 12-4
Ultimately, the Raiders face a difficult schedule filled with prime-time games and East Coast travel. Nonetheless, it is a talented team that should overcome the challenges posed by the 2017 NFL Schedule. Expect the Oakland Raiders to finish next season much a top the AFC just like they did in 2016. Sure, injuries could change any of the outcomes but on paper, the Raiders look poised for another great season.
[Featured Image by Bill Feig/AP Images]