With training camp in full swing and the preseason approaching, Last Word on Pro Football is breaking down the schedules of all 32 NFL teams. This series will consist of the most difficult (1-8) and easiest (9-16) games among each team’s 16-game slate. The focus for this article is the Oakland Raiders easiest games over the course of the 2019 season.
Oakland Raiders Easiest Games in 2019
Week 10: vs Los Angeles Chargers
For whatever reason, the Raiders’ first encounter with the Chargers in 2019 takes place 10 weeks into the season. The Raiders will be in the midst of a three-game home-stand when the Chargers come to Oakland for the very last time. The Raiders were swept by the Chargers last year and only managed to score a total of 16 points combined against them. The new additions of Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams, and rookie Josh Jacobs should ensure that they surpass that amount in their first meeting alone.
Week 16: at Los Angeles Chargers
Entering what might be a must-win game for both teams, this week 16 match-up between the Raiders and Chargers looks to be full of intensity and urgency from both sides. If you know anything about this rivalry, then you know that this will essentially be a home game for the Raiders. Maybe when their new stadium opens in 2020, they’ll draw a bigger fan base but until then Dignity Health Sports Park will remain a home away from home for the Oakland Raiders.
Week 14: vs Tennessee Titans
Outside of Derrick Henry and Kevin Byard, there isn’t much to fear when it comes to the Tennessee Titans. A team that is stuck in football purgatory due largely in part to their inability to move off the extremely average Marcus Mariota. “But wait, they added Ryan Tannehill in the off-season in case Mariota gets hurt or can’t get it done,” wrong; they’re the same person. This team will go solely as Henry and their defense goes. The Raiders were notoriously dreadful on defense last year, but they figure to match-up much better with run-heavy teams.
Week 17: at Denver Broncos
The final game of the season for the Raiders is at Mile High Stadium against the Broncos. Denver will most likely have packed it in by now and should be fighting for a better draft pick. The Broncos figure to be another run-heavy/defensive team that looks to win games by playing situational football and controlling the time of possession. Who knows, we might get a glimpse of Drew Lock here as the Joe Flacco situation doesn’t figure to last very long in Denver.
Week One: vs Denver Broncos
The first game of the season for the Raiders also happens to be the first Monday night game of the season, as the Broncos come to the coliseum for the very last time. I don’t like to call games this early in the season must-win, but with the Broncos figuring to be one of the bottom-tier teams in the league this year, it’ll be essential for the Raiders to come out and make a statement.
Week 12: at New York Jets
The week 12 contest against the Jets has the making of a trap game for the Raiders. While the Jets may be limited offensively, even with the addition of Le’Veon Bell, their defense is formidable and not one to be taken lightly. If the Raiders sleepwalk into this game, then they might get sent back to Oakland with their tails tucked between their legs. These are the type of games you have to win if you want to go to the playoffs.
Week Nine: vs Detroit Lions
If this Week Nine match-up against the Lions was at Ford Field, then I probably would’ve swapped spots with the Jets games. The Lions are probably about as vanilla of a team as you can get. Their head coach, Matt Patricia, is doing what he knows best and trying to turn his team into Patriots-lite. The Lions spent a lot of money in the off-season, mainly on former Patriots players. What they should really be trying to do is find an heir to the mediocre Matthew Stafford, who’s never really won a thing since entering the NFL a decade ago. Remember that thing I said about football purgatory?
- Week 11: vs Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals should be fighting with the New York Giants for the number one overall pick in the draft this season. Their first-round pick, Jonah Williams, is already out for the season due to an injury, and Andy Dalton is about as average as you can get in the NFL. First-year head coach, Zac Taylor is entering one of the most poorly run franchises in all of sports and I doubt he even realizes it yet, but he will. That’s not to say that the Bengals don’t have some very good talent on the roster. Joe Mixon and A.J. Green come to mind specifically, the latter which has sadly wasted away the prime of his career stuck in Cincinnati. The Bengals finally hit the reset button at head coach during the off-season, they need to do the same at quarterback. I’m sure that a top-two pick in this upcoming draft will make that pill much easier to swallow. Even though the Raiders lost to the Bengals last year, they’re poised to coast through what should be a much-needed win.