The Raiders first four games are at home against the Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football, on the road against the Denver Broncos and the Miami Dolphins and then at home against the Cleveland Browns.
I take a look at those first four and give my take on how the Raiders will start the first quarter of the season.
Los Angeles Rams
I hate to be a homer and pick Oakland to upset the Rams in the first game of the season, but I actually do think it’ll happen.
While Los Angeles is widely considered the better team and there are no statistics that one could use based upon last season to predict a Raiders victory, the intangibles are going to be the difference in the game.
With the return of Jon Gruden and the national stage on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, the excitement and atmosphere in the Black Hole will carry the Raiders to a victory. There will not be a game that’s bigger and means more to the Black Hole than opening week unless Oakland is hosting a playoff game in January.
In addition, the team will be hungry to show the world it is closer to the 2016 Raiders and not the 2017 team.
Also see: Jon Gruden opens season as underdog to mentee on old network
Coming off an emotional opening win over the Rams combined with the short week, Oakland will struggle to improve to 2-0.
The Broncos will be slightly improved this season with new quarterback Case Keenum and coach Vance Joseph having one more year of experience under his belt. Also, Denver has done a nice job of adding talent by improving the tackle position with Jared Veldheer and acquiring Su’a Cravens in the secondary.
While I do think the Broncos are the worst team in the AFC West and should lose to the Raiders, Denver will steal a game early in the season in a close one.
Last year’s Raider team defeated the Dolphins fairly easily on Sunday Night Football.
Miami traded away Jarvis Landry and released Ndamukong Suh, so it’s hard to see how the Dolphins will be any better. Ryan Tannehill will be returning.
And again, Oakland beat them last year and will be much improved with Jon Gruden at the helm. There really isn’t much else to this. It’s a win.
Cleveland might be the second toughest opponent, to the Rams, on the schedule with the addition of Landry, Tyrod Taylor and Carlos Hyde. They will also have Josh Gordon back along with two high-draft picks that are still to be named.
Hue Jackson will be making his return to Oakland, so he will have his team ready to play.
The game should be high-scoring and close, but the discrepancy at quarterback, the long road trip and the Browns being the Browns will give the Raiders the advantage and the victory.
Also see: Raiders 2018 schedule game-by-game observations
Raider Nation, after giving my thoughts on the first month of the season, let’s hear what you have to say by commenting and voting in the poll below!
What will the Raiders record be after the first month of the season?
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