Raiders 2016 Schedule Review and Predictions

There’s been plenty that’s been said about this 2016 Oakland Raiders team. Winners of the offseason, media darlings, sneaky favorites — just a few examples of headlines fans have become accustomed to seeing more and more.

Expectations are at an all-time high, and for the first time in a long time, it feels as though they’re well-placed. For those that have been following for some time now, you know me as a “realist”, maybe even a pessimist at times. My views on this franchise in recent seasons have supported as much. While this year certainly feels different, that’s not to say this team “easily” jumps to double-digits wins. With all that said, here’s how I see things shaking out.

Week 1 @ Saints

This is ticketed as the highest scoring affair this weekend and I believe it’ll live up to those expectations. Going against Drew Brees on the road, in the Dome, is certainly a tough test to start the season for a team that hasn’t won an opening week game since 2011. I think the Raiders defense gives them the slightest edge. Oakland by a score.


Week 2 vs. Falcons

Matt Ryan isn’t a very good quarterback, but Julio Jones remains a problem. The Oakland secondary will be much-improved (which may or may not be saying much) but still won’t have an answer for the aforementioned Mr. Jones (not many teams will). There’s also Freeman coming out of the backfield, going against a Raiders run defense that has looked porous at times as the preseason came to a close. I imagine the point total will be large once more, and the Raiders defense bails them out again – just barely.


Week 3 @ Titans

I’m not quite sure what to think about this Titans team other than how good Derrick Henry is and will be, and how silly some teams are for passing up on a talent like his. No names, though. Anyways, Oakland’s coming off two emotional, scrappy wins, and I think this Tennessee team does just enough on both sides of the ball to give the Raiders fits. The first frustrating L of the season, and probably in the fourth quarter to keep the narrative alive and well.


Week 4 @ Ravens

Potential bounce-back spot for the Raiders, but keep in mind, they’re traveling back across the country to prove it. I’m not a big Flacco-believer personally, and think there are still some question marks on the offense in general. Former-roommates and always-best friends Derek and Amari go nuts in this one.


Week 5 vs. Chargers

First divisional game. Back at a home. Against a Chargers team that just isn’t very good at the moment. Much like the duo of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, make no mistake that Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen can still cook. They get theirs, but Oakland squeezes one out at home.


Week 6 vs. Chiefs

This is still a good Kansas City team that won’t be walked over. Oakland, coming off a divisional game, looks sloppy. I hate Sully, man.


Week 7 @ Jaguars

The battle of the “one year too early (probably)” teams. Flip a coin, I’m thinking. Giving the edge to the Jaguars because they’re home and because Allen Robinson.


Week 8 @ Buccaneers

I’m feeling like Jaboo and Evans connect for a pair in this one, but just fall short.


Week 9 vs. Broncos

As of this writing, the previously unknown Trevor Siemian is now 1-0 as an NFL starter. I’ll be curious to see what the Broncos look like after the halfway point of the season. On a related note: that Denver defense is still really, really good.


Week 10 – Bye Week

5-4 at the bye. Don’t hate me.

Week 11 vs. Texans

The Raiders find themselves in Mexico, fresh off their bye week, with yet another dominant wide receiver on the schedule in Nuk Hopkins. Newly-acquired running back Lamar Miller also poses a real threat, but Oakland bottles him up (I hope), and sneaks by with this one.


Week 12 vs. Panthers

Too much Killa Cam, basically.


Week 13 vs. Bills

This’ll be a fun one, and another test as the 4-game home stand (with a bye week mixed in there) comes to an end. A lot of #smart people are picking the Bills offense to quietly turn some heads this season. Tyrod’s got new money, Sammy’s healthy, and Shady can still run. The Raiders rebound, despite all that working against them.


Week 14 @ Chiefs

Potentially “do or die time” entering the last quarter of the season, with all three divisional opponents on the calendar. The Raiders are competitive in Arrowhead, but can’t pull it out. Peters picks off Carr, to make matters worse. I still really hate Sully.


Week 15 @ Chargers

I think the Chargers will be the worst team in the division this season.


Week 16 vs. Colts

Outside of Andrew Luck and maybe one or two other’s, the Colts have one of the worst (if not the worst) rosters in the entire NFL. I’m unsure how Ryan Grigson is still employed. Last home game for Carr and friends, they make it happen.


Week 17 @ Broncos

Is Paxton playing at this point? The Raiders pull one out, split the series.


10-6 on the season, and it obviously feels super-funny typing that.

I’ve gone back and forth on these games a handful of times, and wouldn’t argue with anyone if you had 8 or 9 wins as this team’s ceiling. I think the Bills game can go either way, and going into Mile High to close the 2016 campaign won’t be an easy task. As I mentioned earlier, it’s entirely possible that the Raiders are still one year away. There are definitely questions regarding the run game, and the second level of the defense looks suspect more often than not (I really thought Heeney was going to be a thing).

Here’s to hoping we’re apart of that 27%, I guess.

Catch me on Twitter: @StillRyanFive