Oakland Raiders' 2013 NFL Schedule Is Surprisingly Favorable

By Josh Walfish

The Oakland Raiders’ have the fourth-easiest schedule according to last year’s records. However, until Thursday, the order of those games were unknown. After the NFL released its schedule, Raiders fans should rejoice at how the schedule sets up.

  1. at Indianapolis Colts
  2. Jacksonville Jaguars
  3. at Denver Broncos
  4. Washington Redskins
  5. San Diego Chargers
  6. at Kansas City Chiefs
  7. BYE
  8. Pittsburgh Steelers
  9. Philadelphia Eagles
  10. at New York Giants
  11. at Houston Texans
  12. Tennessee Titans
  13. at Dallas Cowboys
  14. at New York Jets
  15. Kansas City Chiefs
  16. at San Diego Chargers
  17. Denver Broncos

I should set the disclaimer, I don’t think Oakland will be playoff-bound, but there is reason to hope Oakland won’t go on a really long losing streak this year.

There are a couple of interesting tidbits on this schedule, starting with the AFC West showdowns that are sprinkled in the first six weeks and are also the final three games on the slate. The Raiders also play twice in prime time: Week 3 against the Broncos on Monday night and then Thanksgiving Day against the Cowboys.

The first crucial game for Oakland comes in the second week when Jacksonville visits the Bay Area. This game may end up deciding who will wind up with the top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, as both teams have two of the worst rosters in the league. The game is in Oakland so that should be an advantage for the Raiders, and it is nice that the home opener is such a winnable game.

Oakland could run into some issues directly after the bye week when arguably four of their five most difficult games occur. Therefore, the bye week is well-placed for the Raiders to prepare for the daunting stretch of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, the Giants and Houston.

If I had to pick one game I am excited for, it is when Oakland makes the trip to the Meadowlands to play the Jets. New York could be in a difficult situation at that time, and it can be one of those games Oakland is able to steal on the road.

To see how I think the season will play out, you’ll just have to wait until tomorrow.

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