Raiders fans have been excited this offseason, mostly due to the return of Chucky.
Several national publications don’t share that enthusiasm.
In a roundup of predictions for the 2018-19 NFL season, most analysts feel Jon Gruden’s second stint as the Raiders’ coach won’t be enough to bring success. Of the six sites sampled, only one had Oakland finishing over .500 — barely.
On average, the Raiders are expected to win seven games this season, which kicks off with a “Monday Night Football” matchup at home against the Los Angeles Rams.
Here’s a look at how some media outlets think the Raiders will fare:
Analysis: Paul Gutierrez, a former Sacramento Bee writer, bases his prediction off the Raiders’ schedule. “The schedule-makers did Jon Gruden 2.0 no favors with a tough start to his return, including putting him back on Monday Night Football for the season opener against the suddenly formidable Rams, whom they face in the preseason a few weeks prior. ... The slate evens out a bit for Oakland, which is tied for the fourth-easiest strength of schedule in the NFL, before a tough finish with two of the last three on the road, and in cold weather cities Cincinnati and Kansas City.”
Analysis: Jonathan Jones isn’t buying the Gruden hype. “Everyone is talking about the Raiders this offseason because of Jon Gruden, but that’s the reason I don’t feel great about this team in 2018. I think it’s foolish to think Gruden can just hop back on the coaching bike after a 10-year break. ... On top of that, the Raiders basically got a new secondary, new No. 2 receiver and new specialists. I’m willing to hedge my bets on the 2018 Raiders and wait for ’19.”
Analysis: Vinnie Iyer believes Gruden’s presence can help the team’s success ... but probably not in Oakland. “Gruden can have a profound impact in getting the Raiders back to their 2002 form, or at least their 2016 wild-card form. ... The challenge will be bringing together veterans past their prime and youngsters who still have a lot to learn. There will be some good vibes in The Black Hole, but the better bet is that Gruden will have the Raiders in a groove closer to the time of their relocation to Las Vegas.”
Analysis: Pete Prisco doesn’t offer detailed analysis on the Raiders. Instead, he predicts the score of each game of the season — and expects some backlash. “Picking every NFL game with scores in July is just asking for it. But I can’t help myself.... It’s a labor of love. With it, though, comes the hate.I can hear it now: Moron. Idiot. How did you get your job? Do you even watch the games? ... And here’s what I say to that: Who cares? Bring it on. It’s part of the fun of doing this project. I love to pick games — even in July. So dive in, look around, and let the venom flow.”
Analysis: Nate Davis writes that the silver and black will have to adjust to their new coach. “Love Jon Gruden, but he’s going to need time to adapt to this generation of players and collective bargaining rules he’s admittedly not accustomed to. And, yes, the players must also acclimate to Chucky and a new staff.”
Analysis: Brent Sobleski wonders if Gruden is ready for how the game is played now. “Having Jon Gruden back on the sidelines might be exciting for Raiders owner Mark Davis and the franchise’s fanbase. However, one has to wonder whether the former Monday Night Football color analyst is prepared for today’s game after nine years in the booth. Gruden favors reliable veterans, and the team’s 15 free-agent signings are, on average, 29 years old. The Raiders may be more experienced around franchise cornerstones Derek Carr, Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack, but they aren’t necessarily better.”