The Oakland Raiders have lost at least 11 games in each of their last six seasons, something no other NFL team has ever done before.
With the high likelihood of the Raiders naming JaMarcus Russel as their starting quarterback again, the likelihood of the Raiders having a winning season are slim to none.
The chances of the Raiders going .500 aren’t great either.
In fact, Oakland MAY struggle to get over last year’s hump of a five-win season.
But the way its schedule plays, it should be able to win at least five games.
The ceiling, however, has to be set somewhere. After glancing through the Raiders’ schedule, I’ll set the bar at seven wins.
My thought process:
1. The Raiders don’t know how to win at home
The Raiders have won just 11 games at home in the past five years. Good teams win at home. Last season, every team that went on to the playoffs managed to win no fewer than five games at home.
Ironically, the Raiders won two games at home last season and I happened to be at both of them. More ironically, those were the only two Raiders games I went to last season. Maybe I’m their lucky charm.
2. The Raiders will get swept by the Beasts from the East
Oakland stands no chance against Washington, Philadelphia, Dallas and the New York Giants. Not happening. No way.
3. The Chargers own the Raiders
The last time the Chargers lost to the Raiders was in 2003. Remember what happened the last time the Raiders hosted the Chargers on opening day? The Raiders were shutout 27-0 in 2006.
4. A tough road schedule
The Raiders will travel to face the Giants, Chargers (obviously, a divisional rival), Cowboys and Steelers.
5. Running game will save terrible passing game
The Raiders were the worst passing team in the NFL last season. They do, however, have three solid running backs—Darren McFadden, Michael Bush, and Justin Fargas—who will who will be supported by the recently acquired blocking full back Lorenzo Neal.
6. Russell didn’t impress me in the final five games of the season
Week 13- Russell completed 10 of 28 passes for 132 yards against the Chiefs. The Chiefs won only two games last season. One was against Russell.
Week 14- Russell completed 9 of 13 passes. So what? He recorded just 68 passing yards.
Week 15- Russell completed 17 of 32 passes for 242 yards. He didn’t do much until the Raiders were already down 21-0. He also fumbled twice and threw two picks.
Week 16- Russell completed 18 of 25 passes for 236 yards and two TDs. This was arguably the best game of his NFL career, but it came against a Houston team that had absolutely nothing to play for. Can he repeat this performance? I don’t think so.
Week 17- Russell completed 14 of 21 passs for 148 yards. Not bad, but certainly not good. Raiders won’t win many games with those stats, unless of course, Bush runs for 177 yards. Again.
Last year, I predicted the Raiders would win six games. They won five. So please, while reading my predictions, allow me one game as a margin of error going either way.
Week 1 San Diego @ Oakland: Raiders lose 34-10
Week 2 Oakland @ Kansas City: Raiders win 17-13
Week 3 Denver @ Oakland: Raiders lose 24-17
Week 4 Oakland @ Houston: Raiders win 21-20
Week 5 Oakland @ NY Giants: Raiders lose 41-20
Week 6 Philadelphia @ Oakland: Raiders lose 38-17
Week 7 NY Jets @ Oakland: Raiders win 31-12
Week 8 Oakland @ San Diego: Raiders lose 44-16
Week 9 Bye
Week 10 Kansas City @ Oakland: Raiders win 35-24
Week 11 Cincinnati @ Oakland: Raiders win 16-14
Week 12 Oakland @ Dallas: Raiders lose 52-13
Week 13 Oakland @ Pittsburgh: Raiders lose 35-6
Week 14 Washington @ Oakland: Raiders lose 28-10
Week 15 Oakland @ Denver: Raiders lose 17-16
Week 16 Oakland @ Cleveland: Raiders win 24-12
Week 17 Baltimore @ Oakland: Raiders lose 27-3
Overall: 6-10, an improvement off of the last six year’s debacles.