Oakland Raiders

Raiders season forecast

Wide receiver Amari Cooper showed promise as a rookie last season, catching 72 passes for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns.
Wide receiver Amari Cooper showed promise as a rookie last season, catching 72 passes for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns. Associated Press file

WEEK 1

Sept. 11, at New Orleans, 10 a.m., Ch. 40: Impressive road win shows right away the Raiders are for real, at least against a weak defensive team . Win (1-0)

WEEK 2

Sept. 18, vs. Atlanta, 1:25 p.m., Ch. 13: The Raiders did so well on the road, they figured they’d do the same at home. Not even Matt Ryan and Julio Jones will be able to do much against Oakland’s improved secondary. Win (2-0)

WEEK 3

Sept. 25, at Tennessee, 10 a.m., Ch. 13: It gets easier for the Raiders before it gets tougher, and a lopsided win over one of the league’s least-regarded teams will keep Oakland undefeated. Win (3-0)

WEEK 4

Oct. 2, at Baltimore, 10 a.m., Ch. 13: Three road games in the first four weeks will be too much for a team that still has something to learn about how to pull out close games. Loss (3-1)

WEEK 5

Oct. 9, vs. San Diego, 1:25 p.m., Ch. 13: The Black Hole will be just what the Raiders need. Look for Amari Cooper to jump in a few times and DeAndre Washington to take over as the No. 1 running back. Win (4-1)

WEEK 6

Oct. 16, vs. Kansas City, 1:05 p.m., Ch. 13: This will be the biggest regular-season game for the Raiders in more than a decade, and they’ll win it to take control of the AFC West. Win (5-1)

WEEK 7

Oct. 23, at Jacksonville, 10 a.m., Ch. 13: The Jaguars will hold off giving a parade to their former coach, Jack Del Rio, whose team will parade up and down the field in a rout. Win (6-1)

WEEK 8

Oct. 30, at Tampa Bay, 10 a.m., Ch. 13: Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston will make it an entertaining game, but the Raiders will make the plays late and win one that was tougher than anticipated. Win (7-1)

WEEK 9

Nov. 6, vs. Denver, 5:30 p.m., Ch. 3: Denver’s defense and strong running game will be too much for the Raiders. It will be close, but Derek Carr, like the rest of the quarterbacks in the NFL, won’t be able to get out of Von Miller’s way often enough. Loss (7-2)

WEEK 10: Bye

WEEK 11

Nov. 21, vs. Houston, 5:30 p.m., ESPN: The Raiders take their show on the road to Mexico City. Aficionados will side with the Raiders, and management will float the idea of moving there. Win (8-2)

WEEK 12

Nov. 27, vs. Carolina, 1:25 p.m., Ch. 13: Nobody will dare suggest this is a Super Bowl preview, because it won’t be. The Raiders will come up short against Cam Newton and the defending NFC champions. Loss (8-3)

WEEK 13

Dec. 4, vs. Buffalo, 1:05 p.m., Ch. 13: Look for the Raiders to bounce back with a balanced win against the bland Bills. As the weather cools in the East Bay, playoff talk will heat up. Win (9-3)

WEEK 14

Dec. 8, at Kansas City, 5:25 p.m., Ch. 3: Nobody likes the short week, but it gives the rest of the country a chance to see the Raiders in prime time. But the game will be a struggle, and the Raiders will lose a close one. Loss (9-4)

WEEK 15

Dec. 18, at San Diego, 1:25 p.m., Ch. 13: The Raiders will sweep the season series while talk heats up about a move to Los Angeles for both teams after a decisive defeat on a vote to build a new stadium for the Chargers in downtown San Diego. Win (10-4)

WEEK 16

Dec. 24, vs. Indianapolis, 1:05 p.m., Ch. 13: Once again, the Raiders are stuck with a Christmas Eve game. But it won’t be a problem as Oakland gives its fans a holiday gift by clinching a playoff spot. Win (11-4)

WEEK 17

Jan. 1, at Denver, 1:25 p.m., Ch. 13: This will be the AFC West Championship Bowl with these teams entering the game tied for first place. The Broncos will have just a bit more than the Raiders and take the division title again. Loss (11-5)

Andy Furillo: 916-321-1141, @andyfurillo

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