With the Raiders returning from the bye week I promised my breakdown of the Raiders remaining 2013 schedule and here it is. Chance to win percentages are entirely made up. There is no science to this other than the good old eye test and a cup of coffee. Enjoy.
Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4)
Before the Steelers rattled off two straight wins I was booking this as a W for Oakland, now I am not so sure. A Steelers team that thinks it can get right back into the AFC North hunt will be hungry, but this is still a winnable game for the Raiders who can give an aging defense a ton of problems with Terrelle Pryor’s speed and the playmaking of Rod Streater and Denarius Moore. Combine that with Pittsburgh’s lack of a run game and you can still make the case that Oakland are the favorites in this matchup, but just don’t tell that to the rest of the league who will surely be high on the Steelers after their big win over the Ravens. Still Dennis Allen will need to be cautious with this one and the offensive line will need to step up if the job is going to be completed.
Chance to Win: 60%
Philadelphia Eagles (3-4)
Oakland’s defense will have to do most of the heavy lifting in a game that will be a contrast of styles between the defensively strong Raiders and the offense first Eagles. If Terrelle Pryor can sustain long drives to keep Chip Kelly’s fast paced offense off the field, Oakland should be able to manage a win at home. Remember that this is also the week that Jared Veldheer is projected to return.
Chance to Win: 65%
at New York Giants (0-6)
The Giants are in the words of Sir Charles Barkley “turrible” but that doesn’t change the fact that they have Eli Manning at quarterback and playmakers in Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks on offense. This is the third game in a series of games for the Raiders where they will be hoping that their opponents don’t start playing to the level that they can before they play. On the road this will be a tough task for Oakland, but once again if they get their offensive line healthy by this point it is another winnable game.
Chance to Win: 51%
at Houston Texans (2-5)
A tough game to breakdown a month in advance. Case Keenum looked strong in his Texans debut, but Brian Cushing is now out after taking a vicious cut block from the Kansas City Chiefs‘ Jamaal Charles. I think this one comes down to what Oakland’s record is at the time, if the playoffs are still in distance this is a game that the Raiders could still if the Texans can’t turn around the ship. Houston is more talented than Oakland so the Raiders will be hoping that a team that was a sexy preseason AFC favorite will be looking at golf course reservations when they come to the H-Town.
Chance to Win: 45%
Tennessee Titans (3-4)
Oakland matches up very well with the Titans, both teams boast great defenses and shaky offenses. Giving the Raiders the extremely early nod in this one, but not by much as Jake Locker is likely going to be healthy by this point in the season.
Chance to Win: 51%
at Dallas Cowboys (4-3) THANKSGIVING DAY
Dallas are the best possible version of the San Diego Chargers, extremely explosive and at the risk of finding a way to screw it up for themselves everytime they step onto the field. For that reason alone Oakland will have a chance, but it will be a small one on the road on Thanksgiving against the Cowboys. If you are looking to talk yourself into this one, the Raiders do have an excellent secondary to match up with Dez Bryant.
Chance to Win: 35%
at New York Jets (4-3)
Geno Smith has executed a MNF win over the Atlanta Falcons and an even bigger breakout win over the Patriots in recent weeks to put the Jets in the hunt in the AFC East. If that continues this is going to be another difficult road game for the Raiders as the Jets are always a lock to bring a solid defensive performance. If Smith continues to progress in his rookie season, Oakland could be looking at a loss come December. Because they are the Jets I am giving the Raiders the benefit of the doubt that they won’t and this will be a tight game between two teams who are still mathematically in the playoff hunt and are looking for a rallying victory entering December.
Chance to Win: 45%
Kansas City Chiefs (7-0)
Raider fans will tell you that the offensive line was the reason they lost was their porous offensive line and the crowd noise at Arrowhead Stadium exasperating it. Kansas City might be still be vying for the AFC West crown going into the final month of the season, but after a game that was played close for three quarters and KC’s love for playing in tight games for all of 2013 so far, I can definitely smell an upset. Or maybe it is just my Mom’s Christmas baking.
Chance to Win: 30%
at San Diego Chargers (4-3)
Three days before Christmas this is going to be a split crowd between Raiders and Chargers fans as it is every season. Oakland has won once before against the Chargers and did so without Veldheer at LT, I think they do it again if they are truly still in the hunt by this point in the season (which as I have said before is a slim chance).
Chance to Win: 49%
Denver Broncos (6-1)
Raiders Christmas Wish for 2013: 8-7 going into Week 17 with the Broncos having clinched homefield advantage and sitting Peyton Manning. Send Santa Claus a letter right now.
Chance to Win: 10% (With Peyton) 90% (Without Peyton)
Final 2013 Oakland Raiders Record: 8-8