The 2019 Oakland Raiders Schedule Preview

As we’ve established before, I’m a hater of the Oakland Raiders, so obviously, that makes me the most qualified candidate to blindly throw darts and attempt to predict what kind of season they’ll have while we’re still soaking in August. Obviously preseason predictions are meaningless and I could be horribly wrong about all of these, but here’s my shot in the dark.

The 2019 Oakland Raiders Schedule Preview

vs. Denver Broncos

Predicted Winner: Oakland Raiders

Kicking off the season in primetime, in the black hole, against a questionable opponent should make for a winnable game. The Raiders split the series with Denver last season and improved dramatically compared to the Broncos. If the Raiders can generate any pass rush whatsoever, they should be able to take down the immobile Joe Flacco and release what should be a fairly competent offense.

Confidence in Pick: 80%

vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Predicted Winner: Kansas City Chiefs

I know this game is in Oakland, but I still have my doubts about the team’s ability to slow down an offense like Kansas City’s. The Raiders don’t have many proven pass rushers on the roster and there’s a real question about corner depth. Between Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, Sammy Watkins, and Travis Kelce, Patrick Mahomes has so many weapons and it would have to be a fast-paced shootout for Oakland to win.

Confidence in Pick: 85%

@ Minnesota Vikings

Predicted Winner: Minnesota Vikings

In the first of five straight games away from the Black Hole, the Raiders take on a Minnesota Vikings team that I believe the rest of the NFL is sleeping on. They have a solid quarterback in Kirk Cousins, a stacked tailback group, the best starting wide receiver tandem in the NFL, and a dangerous defense. The Vikings will score a ton of points, and I just don’t know if Oakland can overcome Minnesota’s stingy defense.

Confidence in Pick: 75%

@ Indianapolis Colts

Predicted Winner: Indianapolis Colts

The Indianapolis Colts might just be the best team in the whole AFC and I have the same worries about Andrew Luck that I had about Mahomes. I just don’t know if the Raiders have the pass rush to slow him down and if the Raiders have the offensive firepower that I think they will, they’ll have to outscore Frank Reich’s team in Lucas Oil Stadium.

Confidence in Pick: 50%

vs. Chicago Bears (in London)

Predicted Winner: Oakland Raiders

There’s been a theme so far where I laud the Raider offense but question the legitimacy of their pass rush. I worry about how this team can contend against franchise quarterbacks in high-scoring offenses. Fortunately, the Chicago Bears don not have a high-scoring offense. True, Khalil Mack vs. the Oakland Raiders will be something the media beats to death for that week, but I have hope that the team contains him enough for Derek Carr to score points.

Or, ya know, that it’s one of the five weeks that Mack mails in ever year. #StillSalty

Confidence in Pick: 50%

@ Green Bay Packers

Predicted Winner: Green Bay Packers

I actually feel like the Raiders could win this game. They’re fresh off a bye, against a team that might have an iffy defense, and Gareon Conley can stalk Davante Adams around the field. I was tempted to take Oakland, but then I realized that Aaron Rodgers is dangerous, even on a “down year” so I had to take him over the perceived lack of a pass rush.

Confidence in Pick: 50%

@ Houston Texans

Predicted Winner: Houston Texans

The good news is that if ever there was a week where Oakland’s pass rush came to life, it would be this one. Houston’s offensive line has been an issue for years, and it’s holding the likes of Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins back. Unfortunately, the Texans still have the likes of Watson, Hopkins, and that J.J. Watt fella. At 2-4 coming into this must-win game, I just don’t know if the Raiders have what it takes to come away with more points.

Confidence in Pick: 80%

vs. Detroit Lions

Predicted Winner: Oakland Raiders

After a long, long, long time away, the Raiders return to Oakland a 2-5 to face Matthew Stafford and the NFC North’s worst team. The Raiders are so much better than the Lions on paper that even a decent quarterback like Stafford should be easily contained. The Black Hole will be fired up to see the team again and the Silver and Black get back in the win column. I’ll actually be at this game! Pretty decent seats, too.

Confidence in Pick: 75%

vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Predicted Winner: Los Angeles Chargers

On paper, the Los Angeles Chargers are freakishly good. They honestly should sweep the Raiders this year. Philip Rivers, Melvin Gordon (assuming he plays), Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry, Derwin James, Joey Bosa, and others make this team absolutely dangerous. However, there’s a reason that trophy case in San Diego L.A. is empty, this team is cursed, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the Raiders entered a shootout with them and got lucky.

Confidence in Pick: 55%

vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Predicted Winner: Oakland Raiders

The only true impact player the Cincinnati Bengals have, A.J. Green, will start the year injured. The Raiders honestly should’ve beaten the Bengals last year, but they were dealing with several injuries on the offensive line. If the Raiders can’t beat the Bengals, I’m surprised they beat anybody.

Confidence in Pick: 90%

@ New York Jets

Predicted Winner: New York Jets

Right, so the New York Jets aren’t great, and honestly, if this game were in Oakland, I’d probably take the Raiders. But this game is in New York, in November, and I’ve just seen this story happen too many times before. The Raiders have an abysmal record on the east coast, but it helps that the team has so many 10:00 A.M. start times to help them acclimate, at the very least, to the idea of playing around that time.

Confidence in Pick: 45%

@ Kansas City Chiefs

Predicted Winner: Kansas City Chiefs

Nobody on this planet will be happier than me the next time the Oakland Raiders win a game in Arrowhead. But it hasn’t happened since the Chiefs ended a six-game winning streak at the arena for the Raiders in 2013. Maybe Clelin Ferrell will have 10 sacks at this point and I’ll have been completely wrong about this defense or the Chiefs will fall back to earth after a fantastic 2018 but I’m not optimistic about this game.

Confidence in Pick: 90%

vs. Tennessee Titans

I just don’t buy the hype for the Tennessee Titans. I’m not impressed by Marcus Mariota, Derrick Henry is too inconsistent, Corey Davis has yet to really come into his own, and while the defense is good, it’s just not great. In Oakland, this feels like a game the Raiders should win.

Predicted Winner: Oakland Raiders

vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Predicted Winner: Oakland Raiders

I hate seeing Nick Foles play the Raiders, this guy has done nothing but beat this team in his career and I hate him for it. But I still have questions about how good the Jags will actually be and this is the official last game in Oakland. If last year’s “last game in Oakland” is any indication, the Black Hole won’t let the Raiders lose.

Confidence in Pick: 80%

@ Los Angeles Chargers

Predicted Winner: Los Angeles Chargers

It’s funny, the Raiders had to play the “home team” when they played Chicago in London, but regardless of how good the Chargers are, this is still a Silver and Black home game. Everything I said about the last meeting between these two is still true here, but I feel a little better about Oakland’s chances because it’s in Los Angeles. Plus, the Raiders might be able to generate a bit of a pass rush against LA’s beleaguered offensive line.

Confidence in Pick: 50%

@ Denver Broncos

Predicted Winner: Oakland Raiders

I think Drew Lock will probably be Denver’s starting quarterback when this game kicks off, and that means nothing but good things for this Raiders squad. The Raiders can get a feel-good win to end the season on, making everyone optimistic about the 2020 season, where Gruden’s plan should be at it’s most complete.

Confidence in Pick: 70%

The Raiders end up going 7-9 in my predictions, with a couple of games that could go either way on both sides. I know Raider Nation has post-season dreams and Super Bowl hopes, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. If the Raiders can take a schedule that gives them 7 home games, including a huge gap without them, 35,000 miles of travel, no proven pass rushers to speak of, and a Tom Cable-coached offensive line and win seven games in the AFC’s toughest division? Then that’s an absolute win, and the Nation should really, really be excited about 2020.

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