A few days ago, the NFL released the strength of schedule for each team going into 2013. There’s good news for fans in the Black Hole. The Oakland Raiders ended up with the fourth easiest strength of schedule for this upcoming season. These rankings are based off of each team’s record in 2012. Oakland’s 2013 opponents finished 2012 with a combined record of 120-136-0.
The Raiders have winnable games at home against the Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, and San Diego Chargers. All of those teams finished below .500 this past season. The Raiders will also host the Pittsburgh Steelers, whom they defeated in Oakland in Week 3 of this season.
The Silver and Black will travel to the east coast only twice this season, something the Raider’s have struggled with in the past. Both trips will be to Metlife Stadium to play against the New York Giants and the New York Jets. Both teams missed the playoffs in the 2012 season. Other away games include match-ups with 2012 playoff teams, the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, and division rival Denver Broncos.
I’m optimistic about the 2013 schedule, but I don’t put too much stock into it. The Raiders will need to make some improvements this off-season. Games against the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers, and the Chargers twice, were all winnable games that the Raiders let slip away in 2012. If this team doesn’t get better, it doesn’t matter who they face in 2013.
Still, any positive news is good news these days in Oakland. The Raiders aren’t in the playoffs yet, but this is a nice start.