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One reason Raiders have better chance to beat the Patriots than you might think

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In recent years the Raiders have had some success following the bye week.

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders are nine-point underdogs and only have a 21 percent chance of upsetting the New England Patriots this Sunday in Mexico City, according to Five Thirty Eight. Vegas oddsmakers have the Patriots favored by more than a touchdown.

It’s not surprising to see New England as heavy favorites with their defense improving drastically and the idea of Tom Brady getting to go against Oakland’s horrible defense.

However, the Raiders have an advantage that few are discussing. Oakland is coming off a bye week and head coach Jack Del Rio has never lost following a bye while wearing the Silver and Black.

Under Del Rio, they beat a playoff team in the Houston Texans (in Mexico City in fact) and absolutely demolished the Chargers in San Diego with a few big plays from rookie Amari Cooper.

Before Del Rio, the Raiders, 0-4 at the time, nearly earned Derek Carr’s first victory in the NFL but lost by just three points to the 4-1 Chargers with Carr throwing for 282 yards and four touchdowns.

The year prior, it was Terrelle Pryor’s 93-yard run that led to an Oakland win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In 2012, the Carson Palmer led Raiders (1-3) nearly upset the Atlanta Falcons (5-0). But a late Palmer pick-six in Falcons’ territory sealed the game and Oakland ended up losing 23-20 on the road.

The Raiders, despite not always having the best coaching over the past five years, have consistently found ways to win, or at very least stay competitive in games following the bye week.

This doesn’t mean that Oakland is going to win the game, especially when Bill Belichick is on the other side, but they are going to play much better than everyone thinks.

I suspect this game will be close and could come down to the final possession. Raider Nation just has to hope that Carr has the ball last and not Tom Brady.