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USA Today projection has Raiders winning West, heading to AFC Championship

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It may be a tad early to be making season predictions, but that won’t stop some national outlets from getting a jump on it.

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As training camp approaches, we can expect more and more national outlets to put out their projections for the each team’s record this season. The latest comes from USA Today’s Nate Davis who has the Raiders taking the AFC West with an 11-5 record.

Oakland Raiders (11-5): They open the season with three of four on the road and play their final two games away from Oakland, including the season's final Monday night affair on the East Coast (Philadelphia). In between, they'll play three consecutive homes games on two separate occasions, but one of those will occur against the Patriots in Mexico City — not exactly The Black Hole.

The rest of their division projection looks like this:

Los Angeles Chargers 9-7

Kansas City Chiefs 8-8

Denver Broncos 7-9

Though Davis sees the Raiders having one fewer wins, the 2016 division winning Chiefs drop much farther down and out of the playoffs altogether. While the former bottom dwelling Chargers no only make the playoffs, but win a playoff game.

As for their playoff predictions for the Raiders, they have them as a four seed, defeating the Ravens and Steelers on their way to a rematch with the Patriots in the AFC Championship game. That’s where they have the Raiders’ run ending.

From there they have the Patriots beating the Packers in the Super Bowl.

Also see: Football Outsiders has Raiders with worse record, but better playoff standing