With training camp less than a week away, 2018 NFL regular season predictions will be coming out in bunches.
Recently, USA Today released its predictions for the upcoming season. And they were quite interesting and, in my opinion, very wrong.
The Oakland Raiders are pegged to finish with just seven wins and last in the AFC West while the Chiefs are projected to finish third (7 wins), the Broncos second (9) and the Chargers first (10).
Notably, the projections have New England, Pittsburgh and Jacksonville winning their divisions along with the Texans and Titans filling in the wild card spots. USA Today also must not expect Andrew Luck to take a snap all season considering it only gave the Colts two wins.
In regards to Oakland, seven wins seems like a worst-case scenario.
Last season, the Raiders had Carr playing games with a broken back. They added a ton of talent to the defense during the offseason and, most importantly, improved the coaching staff by light years.
Not to mention, Oakland lost a lot of close games in 2017. For example, the losses to the Cowboys, Broncos in Denver, Chargers at home and Eagles all could have gone either way.
So in the same way the ball bounced the Raiders’ way at the end of games in 2016 but didn’t in 2017, Oakland could win a few more close games just due to luck. And a more buttoned-up coaching staff will surely help the team’s performance down the stretch as well.
As such, the Raiders’ finishing ability might not look like 2016 when Oakland won every nail-biter, but it should be a lot better than last season.
So with all the aforementioned positives, it is tough to imagine a scenario in which the Raiders improve on last year’s record by just one game. The only current worry could be a lengthy Khalil Mack holdout that ends up decimating the defense.
But hey, the last-place prediction might be good for them. Last year, USA Today predicted the Raiders to win 11 games and take the division and pretty much the opposite happened.
Raider Nation, tell us what you think.
How many games will the Raiders win?
This poll is closed