With the Oakland Raiders’ 2017 preseason wrapping up, it is time to start looking forward to the 2017 NFL regular season.
As such, here are The JR Report’s win-loss projections for the 2017 Raiders.
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Week 1: at Tennessee Titans
Starting the regular season off on the road against an up and coming team in the Tennessee Titans would be tough for any team to overcome.
Running backs DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry and even quarterback Marcus Mariota could cause many issues on the Oakland defense. With so many weapons on the Tennessee offense, the Raiders’ poor defensive communication could be exposed.
With that being said, the Oakland defense will get gashed often, but the Raiders have an MVP caliber quarterback on the other side who will lead Oakland to a nail-biter victory in Week 1 carrying over the common theme from 2016.
Until the defense learns to communicate and gets defensive backs Gareon Conley and Obi Melifonwu up to speed, they will look a lot like the 2016 Raiders, just with fewer victories.
Raiders 34 Titans 30
Week 2: vs. New York Jets
This game will be the first home opener in Oakland since the organization announced their move to Las Vegas.
A blow out victory against the New York Jets should do well in pleasing the fans and keeping the Oakland Coliseum hospitable with the relocation on everyone’s mind.
Raiders 27 Jets 10
Week 3: at Washington Redskins (SNF)
The Raiders are a better team than the Washington Redskins and, despite what the salaries might say in the future, Carr has a major advantage over quarterback Kirk Cousins.
Nonetheless, it is still early in the season and the Oakland defense will be vulnerable. Cousins will have a monster game and Carr’s late magic will not be enough to carry his team on the road against a possible playoff team on Sunday Night Football.
Redskins 27 Raiders 24
Week 4: at Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos just do not have the star-power at quarterback to compete with a talent like Carr.
The Raiders, like last year’s home win, will use running back Marshawn Lynch to run over the defense and open the play action passing game for Carr to complete a few game-changing strikes.
The Broncos might not admit it, but they are about to enter a rebuilding phase as they need to find their quarterback of the future. Also, placing safety TJ Ward on the trading block does suggest a possible rebuilding period.
Per source, Broncos are actually making — not receiving — calls about a trade of S T.J. Ward.
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Week 5: vs. Baltimore Ravens
Oakland has defeated the Baltimore Ravens two seasons in a row. Moreover, quarterback Joe Flacco might not even be ready or healthy for this game in Oakland.
As a result, the outcome will be no different from the last two meetings.
Raiders 20 Ravens 13
Week 6: vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Quarterback Philip Rivers is going to have a field day against the porous Raiders secondary. The Los Angeles Chargers are a much-improved team, maybe the most in the NFL, and will sneak up on Oakland a few days before they have to play the Kansas City Chiefs on national television.
Chargers 31 Raiders 27
Week 7: vs. Kansas City Chiefs (TNF)
A game under the lights at home will help Carr turn around his poor history against the Chiefs (lost five straight games to KC) since there is no team Carr and company will want to beat more than Kansas City.
The game also becomes a must-win after the previous week’s loss to the Chargers.
Lynch has a beast quake type game as the Coliseum erupts on Thursday Night Football during the team’s first victory over the Chiefs since Carr’s first NFL win.
Raiders 27 Chiefs 20
Week 8: at Buffalo Bills
As long as Tyrod Taylor is the quarterback of the Buffalo Bills, they won’t stand any chance against Carr and the Raiders.
Oakland would need a major off-day to lose to Buffalo, especially as the Bills subtly begin their rebuild, which they should until Tom Brady exits the division.