With the 2014 season upon us, it's time to put out my Raiders 2014 season prediction. Let's go through this one game by game.
1 Sep. 7 at New York Jets 10:00 am
Right off the top, we are presented with the hardest game to call of the season. There are so many reasons to go either way in this one. What it came down to was the catastrophe that is the Jets defensive secondary.
Rookie quarterbacks are a combined 1-7 against Rex Ryan coached defenses. But Matt McGloin torched the Jets defense last season only to have his defense smother the flames. I expect a similar performance from Derek Carr as with McGloin and a fresh, rejuvenated Raiders defense to keep Geno Smith in check.
2 Sep. 14 HOUSTON TEXANS 1:25pm
The pass rush of Jadeveon Clowney and JJ Watt give Carr his welcome to the NFL moment. While the gritty vet Ryan Fitzpatrick does the same thing he did to the Raiders last season and churns out a win.
3 Sep. 21 at New England Patriots 10:00am
Foxboro. Patriots. Not gonna happen.
4 Sep. 28 MIAMI DOLPHINS (London) 10:00am
I see the better running teams taking this game in often damp Wembley Stadium. The Raiders are built to be a better running team than the Dolphins so I give them the edge here. But only slightly.
5 Oct. 5 Bye week
Result: 2-2 heading into the break. I'm sure many of you will disagree with my assessment of the first four but however you slice it, going into the bye week with two wins is how I see it. Can they beat the Texans? Sure. They did it last year. But they could also follow their usual East Coast hex and lose to the Jets in the opener. That game in London has a lot of uncertainty surrounding it as well.
6 Oct. 12 SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 1:05pm
Philip Rivers loves playing in Oakland. He gets up for this game. And the Chargers are a much better team, so there's that.
7 Oct. 19 ARIZONA CARDINALS 1:25pm
Great defense with an improved offense as well. Carson Palmer wins in his return to Oakland.
8 Oct. 26 at Cleveland Browns 1:25pm
On one hand, it's in the Eastern Time Zone. On the other hand, who will be catching the ball with Josh Gordon suspended for the season?
9 Nov. 2 at Seattle Seahawks 1:25pm
Reigning champs. In Seattle. Uh, no.
10 Nov. 9 DENVER BRONCOS 1:05pm
Tough back to back going from one Super Bowl team to the other. This one will be a face plant as well.
11 Nov. 16 at San Diego Chargers 1:05pm
The Raiders love playing in San Diego. It's their home away from home. They steal one from the Chargers again this year.
12 Nov. 20 (TNF) KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 5:25pm
The Chiefs are still pretty good. And the Raiders' primetime record has not been great of late. Since 2005 they have a record of 3-14 in primetime. One of those losses was to the Chiefs at home (2005 SNF).
13 Nov. 30 at St Louis Rams 10:00am
Don't think just because the Rams lost Sam Bradford, that's a win for the Raiders. They still have a stout defense in St Louis. Not to mention Bradford was among one of the worst starting QB's in the NFL last season and yet they still managed a 7-9 record.
14 Dec. 7 SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 1:25pm
Even with the turmoil on defense for the 49ers, they're still one of the better teams in the NFL.
15 Dec. 14 at Kansas City Chiefs 10:00am
Is there a chance the Raiders can manage to pull a win away from the Chiefs this season? Sure. They say you can throw the records out the window when these two teams play. But I wouldn't count on it.
16 Dec. 21 BUFFALO BILLS 1:25pm
While I think EJ Manuel will begin putting things together by this point, I see these two teams in similar places in the rebuild process. I give the edge to the home team.
17 Dec. 28 at Denver Broncos 1:25pm
The only chance the Raiders have of winning this one is if the Broncos decide to sit Peyton Manning if they have secured home field throughout the playoffs. Though I am not going to count on that happening.