2012 NFL Schedule: The 5 Games That Are Most Important to Oakland Raiders

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2012 NFL Schedule: The 5 Games That Are Most Important to Oakland Raiders
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Coach Allen leads the Raiders into 2012...and beyond

In anticipation of the official 2012 NFL schedule release April 17 at 4 p.m. PST, here are my top five games for the Raiders in order of importance. Realize this is before a schedule order and is more about the level of competition than when and what record they will have playing these teams.

No for me, winning is a matter of having a team that is good enough to compete regardless of conditions. As such, the Raiders will always have a high priority with the AFC West rivals. But this year, there are other marquee matchups that will impact success or failure for the upcoming season.

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