Really no wonder why Raiders have 2014 toughest strength of schedule

Ezra Shaw

If you don't think about it too much, it almost doesn't seem fair. A 4-12 team getting the toughest schedule in the NFL? But it only takes a quick look to figure out just why that would be - and it isn't some kind of NFL conspiracy.

The Raiders play against the two toughest divisions in football this season - the AFC West and the NFC West. The AFC West has three playoff teams with all of them having the luxury of playing against the Raiders.

The NFC West has the two conference championship teams and Super Bowl winner in it. Then they have the 10-6 Cardinals and the 7-9 Rams.

Just between these two divisions, the Raiders play half their season against playoff teams and nine games against teams with a winning record.

The other division the Raiders face is the AFC East which is home to the Patriots. This means the Raiders will play every one of the teams in the AFC and NFC Championship games and Super Bowl.

In total the Raiders only have four games all season against a team with a losing record - the Texans (2-14), Browns (4-12), Bills (6-10), and Rams (7-9).

So, is it really any wonder why they have the toughest schedule in the NFL? The top ten are all teams from those AFC West, NFC West, and AFC East who all play each other. The Raiders have the worst record of any team in those three divisions.

Here are all the Raiders home and away opponents:

Home: Broncos, Chiefs, Chargers, Bills, Texans, *Dolphins, 49ers, Cardinals

Away: Broncos, Chiefs, Chargers, Patriots, Jets, Browns, Rams, Seahawks

*And just for a nice bonus, the Raiders will play one of their home games in London.

Here is the entire list of teams in order of strength of schedule per NFL.com:

1. Oakland Raiders .578

2. Denver Broncos .570

3. St. Louis Rams .564

4t. San Diego Chargers .563

4t. San Francisco 49ers .563

6. Seattle Seahawks .561

7. Kansas City Chiefs .559

8. Arizona Cardinals .547

9. New York Jets .520

10. New England Patriots .516

11. Atlanta Falcons .512

12. Miami Dolphins .508

13. Green Bay Packers .504

14. Buffalo Bills .500

15. Chicago Bears .496

16. Detroit Lions .492

17. Washington Redskins .490

18. Dallas Cowboys .488

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers .484

20. Philadelphia Eagles .479

21. Minnesota Vikings .477

22. Carolina Panthers .473

23t. Cincinnati Bengals .469

23t. New Orleans Saints .469

23t. Pittsburgh Steelers .469

26t. Cleveland Browns .465

26t. New York Giants .465

28. Baltimore Ravens .461

29. Jacksonville Jaguars .453

30. Houston Texans .441

31. Tennessee Titans .438

32. Indianapolis Colts .430

In case you were wondering, the Raiders were in the bottom five in strength of schedule last season.

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