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Breaking down Raiders 2015 schedule: Brutal stretch run

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Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

We knew there wasn't going to be a lot to like about the Raiders schedule this season. And it lived up to that, especially down the stretch.

Sun., Sept. 13                    CINCINNATI BENGALS                   1:25 p.m.             CBS

Sun., Sept. 20                    BALTIMORE RAVENS                      1:05 p.m.             CBS

After opening the past two seasons on the road (New York Jets, Indianapolis), the Raiders begin this season with two-straight home games. Unfortunately that means they will be playing on that dirt infield and against two 2014 playoff teams in the Bengals and Ravens.

Sun., Sept. 27                    at Cleveland Browns 10:00 a.m.           CBS

Sun., Oct. 4                         at Chicago Bears 10:00 a.m.           CBS

Then the Raiders hit the road for two weeks for two-straight dreaded 10am Pacific time games in Cleveland and Chicago. They face just five teams this season who had losing records in 2014 and these are two of them. The Browns finished 7-9 last season and the Bears finished 5-11. It will also be nice to get those two games out of the way early. It's not fun to head to either of those lakeside cities in the dead of winter.

Sun., Oct. 11                       DENVER BRONCOS                          1:25 p.m.             CBS

Sun., Oct. 18                       Bye Week

Sun., Oct. 25                       at San Diego Chargers 1:05 p.m.             CBS

Then they return home for their first AFC West foe, the Denver Broncos before having the bye week to prepare to head to their home away from home - San Diego. This may be their last trip there with the looming possibility of the Chargers moving to Los Angeles. And with the Raiders a possibility to share that facility in LA, playing the Chargers would eventually be their home at home.

Sun., Nov. 1                        NEW YORK JETS                                1:05 p.m.             CBS

After that it's back home to face the Jets for the second-straight season. They opened in New York last season and gave the Jets one of their four wins on the season. This year's game happens the day after Halloween so all you Raiders fans can just keep your costume on.

Sun., Nov. 8                        at Pittsburgh Steelers 10:00 a.m.           CBS

Sun., Nov. 15                     MINNESOTA VIKINGS                    1:05 p.m.             FOX

Sun., Nov. 22                     at Detroit Lions 10:00 a.m.           CBS

Sun., Nov. 29                     at Tennessee Titans 10:00 a.m.           CBS

November will not be pleasant. With three of the four games on the road, all three 10am start times, two of which in tough venues in Pittsburgh and Detroit. On the flip side, they face two of their five losing squads in the month in Tennessee and at home against the Vikings.

Sun., Dec. 6                        KANSAS CITY CHIEFS                       1:05 p.m.             CBS

Sun., Dec. 13                      at Denver Broncos                           1:05 p.m.             CBS

Sun., Dec. 20                      GREEN BAY PACKERS                      1:05 p.m.             FOX

Thu., Dec. 24                      SAN DIEGO CHARGERS                  5:25 p.m.             NFL Network

Sun., Jan. 3, 2016              at Kansas City Chiefs 10:00 a.m.           CBS

The final five weeks of the season things don't get any easier. It features four games against AFC West opponents with Green Bay tucked in between. First at home against the Chiefs, then at Denver, home against the Packers, home against the Chargers, and finishing in Kansas City.

The Christmas Eve game against the Chargers happens in prime time on Thursday night. It is their one and only prime time game of the season.

Three of their four games in December are at home.

The Raiders got their first win last season at home against the Chiefs, but then were beaten badly in Kansas City. They will have to do even better this year.

Over the final nine weeks of the season, the Raiders face just two teams with losing records in 2014 - Vikings (7-9) and Titans (2-14). The other seven teams all finished with winning records last season with a combined record of 73-39.

From the outset it would appear the Raiders will have to take advantage of their early season schedule if they are to have shot of surviving their final nine games. If they head into it under .500, it could mean a late season tailspin.

To see the Raiders entire regular season schedule along with preseason, strength of schedule, and more, click here.