The Oakland Raiders have quite a streak going into the 2012 season.
They're three-for-three, as in three head coaches in three years, now that Dennis Allen will debut as Hue Jackson's replacement.
You know what else is interesting? It's the second time since 2006 that the Silver and Black have had such a run of turnover on the sidelines, after Norv Turner, Art Shell and Lane Kiffin played hot potato with a head set between 2005 and 2007.
But, the late, great Al Davis is gone, giving way to a new day in Oakland, in which GM Reggie McKenzie is starting fresh.
For real, this time.
Nonetheless, if Carson Palmer gets settled in and Darren McFadden can stay healthy, the Raiders should be in the hunt for a playoff berth at season's end, thanks to a schedule that ranks in the middle of the pack as far as difficulty is concerned.
Speaking of which, let's have a gander at that very slate the Raiders will be up against in 2012.
Week 2 9/16: Oakland Raiders vs. Miami Dolphins 4:15 p.m. EDT, CBS
Week 3 9/23: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Oakland Raiders 4:05 p.m. EDT, CBS
Week 4 9/30: Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos 1:05 p.m. EDT, CBS
Week 5 BYE
Week 6 10/14: Oakland Raiders vs. Atlanta Falcons 1:00 p.m. EDT, CBS
Week 7 10/21: Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Oakland Raiders 4:15 p.m. EDT, CBS
Week 8 10/28: Oakland Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs 4:05 p.m. EDT, CBS
Week 9 11/4: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Oakland Raiders 4:05 p.m. EST, FOX
Week 10 11/11: Oakland Raiders vs. Baltimore Ravens 1:00 p.m. EST, CBS
Week 11 11/18: New Orleans Saints vs. Oakland Raiders 4:05 p.m. EST, FOX
Week 12 11/25: Oakland Raiders vs. Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 p.m. EST, CBS
Week 13 12/2: Cleveland Browns vs. Oakland Raiders 4:15 p.m. EST, CBS
Week 14 12/6: Denver Broncos vs. Oakland Raiders 8:20 p.m. EST, NFL Network
Week 15 12/16: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders 4:15 p.m. EST, CBS
Week 16 12/23: Oakland Raiders vs. Carolina Panthers 1:00 p.m. EST, CBS
Week 17 12/30: Oakland Raiders vs. San Diego Chargers 4:15 p.m. EST, CBS
Like everyone else in the AFC West, the Raiders went 3-3 in divisional play on the way to an 8-8 record overall. Games against the AFC North and the NFC South won't be easy, though the Pittsburgh Steelers figure to regress a bit after an offseason full of roster cuts. The New Orleans Saints will be dogged by turmoil in the wake of the "Bountygate" scandal.
Realistically then, the Raiders should be able to duplicate last year's eight-win result if the new coaching staff is able to establish the sort of commitment to excellence that Al Davis had long espoused.
Most Pivotal Matchup
Oakland's games against the arch rival Denver Broncos are always meaningful, though the presence of Peyton Manning in orange and blue will raise the stakes significantly this season.
Manning makes the Broncos the team to beat in the AFC West, but if the Raiders can upend the Broncos at home in December, to kick off a stretch in which they'll play three divisional opponents over the final four weeks, the Black Hole may yet have a division crown to celebrate at season's end.
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