Every year about this time, we scan the schedule and try to figure out what the record of each team will be. Fans will try to find a way to convince themselves they can beat any beatable team in the NFL and many blogs will do the same. ESPN is apparently not immune to that either.
I went through and looked at all the predictions made by each of the team specific ESPN blogs to see how they saw the team they covered performing against the Raiders. Here is what I found.
We'll do this game by game.
ESPN has this one chalked up as a win for the Jets. They do love their New York/New England sports teams up there in Bristol Connecticut.
Do I really need to check to see if they have the Patriots winning this one? Ok, here's Mike Reiss prediction a resoundinig 38-14 Patriots victory.
Vs Dolphins (in London)
And again, ESPN believes the Raiders are no contest against the Phins in their match-up across the pond.
ESPN has the Chargers sweeping the season series against the Raiders - something they couldn't do last year despite a much worse Oakland squad. Doesn't matter. Get the dustpan to collect the crumbs from the cakewalk.
Here is the ESPN blog saying the Cardinals will take their match-up in Oakland. Because Carson Palmer will be "pumped" to take "the field he despises" and they'll get a "reprieve" from facing "talented quarterbacks". Reer!
ESPN sees these two teams as being very similar and goes with the home team Browns.
Like the game in New England, do we really need any proof this one is a Seahawks win? Alright, here is ESPN saying "Is there any doubt?" (Really, there is little doubt).
Another division opponent, another sweep. This one makes a bit more sense.
at Chargers (see above sweep prediction)
vs Chiefs (TNF)
And it's official, Raiders get swept in the division per ESPN team blogs. Something that hasn't happened since the 2-win 2006 campaign. Although, in 2010 the Raiders did the sweeping in the division.
Even after ESPN has the Rams losing four-straight, it's the Raiders who give them a bye week.
Again, do we have to bother looking? Fine. Even with former Raiders beat writer, Paul Gutierrez, now covering the red and gold, Raiders lose the battle of the bay.
At Chiefs (see above sweep)
And so it comes to pass. In the second to last game of the 2014 season, the Raiders get their first win (according to ESPN). And with the Broncos up next and the aforementioned season sweep, this is their only predicted win.
at Broncos (see above mentioned sweep)
So, there you have it. According to the fine folks across ESPN's NFL team blog network, the improved 2014 Raiders will outdo their 4-12 campaign last season and sink to their worst record in franchise history with a 1-15 record. The only other time they had just one win in a season was 1962 when they went 1-13 - the year before Al Davis came onboard.
And a slow clap all around.
For what it's worth, Bill Williamson, who covers the Raiders for ESPN, has them finishing 6-10. He looks like quite the homer thinking the Raiders will actually put up a fight in six games, especially when considering all but one of his colleagues have Raiders week chalked up as a W.