For the second year in a row, the Oakland Raiders will enter the season with the toughest strength of schedule based on the previous year’s winning percentage.
Coming off of a 4-12 2018 NFL season, the Oakland Raiders will not have it easy as they embark on year No. 2 with Jon Gruden back at the helm. A year after having the toughest strength of schedule, the Raiders will once again hold that honor, when you look at the 2018 winning percentages of their opponents in 2019.
Of course, they have two playoff teams in their division, as the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs both went 12-4 last season. In addition, they have to take on the AFC South in 2018, a division who also sent two teams to the playoffs in the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts.
In total, the Raiders schedule will be made up of seven games against teams that went to the playoffs in 2018, including a matchup in London against former All-Pro defensive end Khalil Mack and the Chicago Bears.
As a group, the 16-game schedule for the Raiders will include teams that combined to rack up a .539 winning percentage in 2018. In addition, they have to face teams that will be looking to rebound, as they must face Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, and three teams that made the playoffs the year before in the Minnesota Vikings, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Tennessee Titans.
With Oakland being the team with the toughest schedule, the rest of the top-5 include divisional foes Denver (2) and Kansas City (t5), as well as the Jaguars (3), Texans (4), and Bears (t5)
For those counting at home, the team with the easiest strength of schedule based on last year’s winning percentage is Gruden’s brother, Jay, and his Washington Redskins. They eeked out a team that really needs to play cupcakes (sarcasm), as the New England Patriots have the second-easiest slate in 2019.