Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/18/13
With the quarterback controversy in Oakland, it looks as if Matt Flynn will be the starter in the upcoming season.The Raiders' offensive line wasn't impressive at all in their second preseason game -- Flynn was sacked five times in just one half in the Raiders' loss to the New Orleans Saints.Questions will arise to how the Raiders will handle even tougher defenses, as the Saints' overall defense was ranked No. 32 in the NFL last season.Although, the Raiders have their star running back, Darren McFadden, making his return this season, coming off an injury, the problem in that area is if he can stay healthy; entering his sixth season in the NFL, McFadden has never played 16 games in a season.The Oakland Raiders' depth chart is shaky with a starting quarterback who has proven to be a somewhat dependable, and underachieving, an injury-prone running back, no star talent at the wide receiver position, and a struggling defense ranked No. 18 in the NFL last season.Game 1: September 8th at Indianapolis ColtsThe Raiders' defense will struggle with the promising second-year quarterback Andrew Luck. They won't have a fun experience guarding his receiving options, Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton, and the speedy Darrius Heyward-Bey, who ran a 4.25 in a 40-yard dash.Despite the struggling Colts' defense finishing the 2012 season ranked No. 26 in the NFL, Oakland's offense doesn't look too promising.Colts win, 31-13Game 2: September 15th vs. Jacksonville JaguarsBlaine Gabbert has been less than impressive with the Jacksonville Jaguars, yet in the Jaguars' second preseason game, Gabbert went 13-for-16, 165 yards, 1 TD, no interceptions, hinting a promising 2013 season, with their star receiver, Cecil Shorts emerging as a great target for Gabbert to pass to. The return of 2011 rushing leader Maurice Jones-Drew will also give a push to the Jaguars' offense as far as the running game is concerned.The Raiders' defense will not be able to stop the three main weapons the Jaguars have.Jaguars win, 21-17Game 3: September 23rd at Denver BroncosThe key for the Raiders to win this game will be something they don't have, a great defense. With Peyton Manning as the quarterback for Denver, and his elite receiving options: Wes Welker, Eric Decker, and Demaryius Thomas, Oakland will not have a fun day guarding any of these receivers.The Raiders will also have a tough time scoring, and Denver was ranked No. 2 last season in overall defense.Broncos win, 42-10 Game 4: September 29th vs. Washington RedskinsThe outcome of this game solely depends on whether Robert Griffin III will be in action or not. With Griffin's versatility, the Raiders wouldn't stand a chance against Washington's complicated offense -- we'll assume he won't be in action by Week 4, for the Raiders' sake.Oakland may find it fairly easy to score with the Redskins' defense being ranked No. 28 in the NFL last season.Raiders win, 24-16Game 5: October 6th vs. San Diego ChargersDespite the Chargers' having no solid players other than Philip Rivers, that's when Rivers comes into play. Rivers can get the job done no matter who's around him (especially against a struggling Raiders' defense). The Chargers look to solidify their running game this upcoming season with Ryan Mathews looking promising in the preseason. San Diego's defense wasn't too shabby last season, finishing with a ranking of No. 9.Chargers win, 14-3Game 6: October 13th at Kansas City ChiefsThe Raiders managed to beat the Kansas City Chiefs twice last year, but with Alex Smith at quarterback, that will no longer happen. Smith has proven to be a solid starting quarterback, and with the likes of Jamaal Charles at running back, and Dwayne Bowe as an elite passing option, the Chiefs will get the job done, especially playing at home.Chiefs win, 20-17Game 7: October 27th vs. Pittsburgh SteelersWith Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback, and Antonio Brown emerging as the No. 1 receiver in Pittsburgh, the Steelers look to have a promising season, along with a defense ranked No. 1 overall in the NFL last season. The Raiders were able to beat the Steelers in their only meeting last season, 34-31, but with the downgrade of Carson Palmer to Matt Flynn, you shouldn't expect the same to happen.Steelers win, 35-20Game 8: November 3rd vs. Philadelphia EaglesWith Michael Vick as the starting quarterback for the Eagles, one shouldn't expect Philadelphia to have a great display of offense, especially after losing Jeremy Maclin to an ACL tear. LeSean McCoy will solidify the Eagles' running game, which will decrease the amount of times Vick will most likely throw an interception. Expect the Raiders to pull out a close one.Raiders win, 27-20Game 9: November 10th at New York GiantsThe Giants did not have a stellar season in 2012, yet with the combination of two-time Super Bowl champion, Eli Manning, Victor Cruz, and Hakeem Nicks, the Giants' offense will prove to overwhelming to the Raiders' defense.The Raiders' shouldn't struggle too much with the Giants' defense either, so it comes down to the offenses' production.Giants win, 38-21Game 10: November 17th at Houston TexansWith the addition of Ed Reed on defense to complement Johnathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson, and J.J. Watt; the Raiders will be lucky to score a touchdown.Not to mention the offensive weapons with Andre Johnson, and the promising rookie DeAndre Hopkins at wide receiver; Owen Daniels lining up at tight end, and Arian Foster as their starting running back. The Texans win big.Texans win, 42-10Game 11: November 24th vs. Tennessee TitansThe Tennessee Titans look shaky on both sides of the ball as Jake Locker looks to lead their offense with no elite passing options, and a defense that was ranked No. 27 last season.Entering the 2013 season, Chris Johnson looks as if he is going to have a promising year, expect him to break out a 50-yard touchdown or two. The Raiders' matchup to the Titans look promising enough for a close victory.Raiders win, 17-14Game 12: November 28th at Dallas CowboysThe Cowboys' offense looks nearly unstoppable with a decent running back, DeMarco Murray; two solid, elite receivers Dez Bryant, and Miles Austin; one of the best tight ends in the NFL, Jason Witten, and a solid quarterback, Tony Romo. Look for the Cowboys to have their way with Oakland's weak defense.Cowboys win, 31-21Game 13: December 8th at New York JetsThe Jets could probably pull off a win against the Oakland Raiders; that's only if Mark Sanchez were on the bench. Sanchez has two solid targets, Braylon Edwards, and Santonio Holmes, but that doesn't matter if he cannot pass the ball. The Jets' passing defense was ranked No. 2 in the NFL last year, and should only improve with Dee Milliner in the backfield. While the Jets' defense may give the Raiders a run for their money, the offense won't.Raiders win, 10-7Game 14: December 15th vs. Kansas City ChiefsIn their second matchup in the 2013 season, the Kansas City Chiefs will pull off another win. Alex Smith, Jamaal Charles, and Dwayne Bowe will prove to be a dangerous threat on offense.Chiefs win, 21-13Game 15: December 22nd at San Diego ChargersIn another matchup against the Chargers in the 2013 season, the Chargers will win once again, with their improved defense with Manti Te'o in the backfield to go along with a more solid running game.Chargers win, 28-14Game 16: December 29th vs. Denver BroncosTheir third consecutive rematch against a team will be another loss on their record. The combination of Peyton Manning, Eric Decker, and Demaryius Thomas will have no problems against the Raiders' defense. Whereas the Raiders' offense will struggle against the Broncos' defense. This will be a lop-sided game.Broncos win, 38-17Last season the Oakland Raiders finished with a 4-12 record, this season one should expect the same.
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