By Ryan Ratty @RyanRattyNFL on August 20, 2014
The Oakland Raiders brought in a lot of talent over the offseason, and the future looks bright for a team full of young players with potential. Unfortunately, the Raiders play in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL in the AFC West and that reason alone could keep them out of the playoffs for a few more years. Here are five games that will define Oakland's season in 2014.
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The New England Patriots are annually one of the AFC's best teams, and this game comes early in the season. In all honesty, the Raiders could be 2-0 going into this game if all goes right against the Jets and Texans. That being said, this game will tell Raider fans if they are for real or not. It will also be Oakland's first opportunity against a high-scoring offense.
This game will be an important one, because the likelihood of the Raiders beating the Patriots is slim but a win against the Miami Dolphins is doable, especially since they will be playing on a different continent. The Raiders are a young team and that will be beneficial when the two teams play in different climate.
The first game of the year is always a good opportunity to see what each team is going to look like. In this game, Raider fans will be able to see which plays they should expect over the next year. Another reason why this game is so important is because of Oakland's quarterback situation. Fans want to see Derek Carr play, but is it worth it to throw him into the fire early in the season against a very good defense?
Although they play in different conferences, there is a rivalry between the Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers. There have been plenty of fights between both fanbases over Twitter and other social media sites. The 49ers are clearly the better team, but the Raiders' home crowd will make it tough for Colin Kaepernick and Co. to move the ball down the field.
Last year, the Denver Broncos destroyed the Raiders twice. At this point in the season, fans will see who this Raiders team really is. Regardless, losing by four touchdowns isn't good, and by this point if the season is already over for the Raiders, this could be the game Dennis Allen loses his job over.
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