Now that the Raiders’ official schedule has been released, maybe fans and players will temper expectations that were increased by a run on veteran free agents.
Regardless of the dates and times for the games, it was known that the Raiders would play three games against the Super Bowl XLVIII teams, five games against conference finalists from 2013, nine games against 2013 playoff teams, and 12 against teams with non-losing records from a year ago.
The specific configuration of games makes it even worse. If that’s possible.
Three of the first four games will involve 10:00 a.m. local time kickoffs, with a Week One game at the Jets, a Week Three game at the Patriots, and a Week Four “home” game against the Dolphins in London. Week Two features a visit from the Texans, who were 2-14 last year but who are expected to be considerably better in 2014.
Then comes the bye. And then comes the boom.
Chargers. Cardinals. At Browns. At Seahawks. Broncos. At Chargers. Chiefs. At Rams. 49ers. At Chiefs. Bills. At Broncos.
For a team with a coach and G.M. widely believed to be on the hot seat, maybe owner Mark Davis should consider how difficult this season will be before making a final assessment.
Given this slate of games, anything better than 5-11 should be regarded as a major accomplishment.