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2011 Schedule Review & Predictions

Put aside the fact that the owners and players are miles apart on an agreement at this point, and lets take a look at whom & where the 2011 Oakland Raiders will be playing this year.. Before we start, a few fun facts about the Raiders 2011 schedule.  #1 is that “Vegas” has the chances of Oakland winning the Super Bowl at 50-1..Wow..Not much confidence there,huh?  I am not really a gambling man other than an occasional poker game, but that seems pretty high to me.. I will not declare here and now that my beloved Raiders are gonna be champs at the end of the season, but I think they have a better chance than 50 to 1..#2 – The team will travel a total of 25,532 miles this season.. Talk about frequent flyer miles!! The furthest they will travel is 3,105 miles to Miami FL on Sun Dec 4.  The closest they travel is the 8 hour trip down south to San Diego.  #3 – the Raiders have the 23 “toughest” schedule this year.  Their opponents cumulative 2010 record is 126-130-0, putting Oakland in the top 10 of hardest schedules this year.  #4 – Oakland will play 2 prime time games this year.  Starting off the season (as they did in 2008) as the second of 2 Monday Night games in Denver against the Broncos.  The other prime time game will be the first Thursday Night Football game on Nov 10th in San Diego against the Chargers.  

Now a short break-down of all of the Raiders games this up and coming 2011 year: (all times Eastern)

Monday, Sept 12, 10:15pm at Denver Broncos  – For the fourth time since 2006, the Oakland Raiders will open the season on “Monday Night Football” in the back end of a doubleheader.  This year, as in 2008 they will face the Denver Broncos at Mile High.  Last year in the 2 games against Denver, Oakland crushed the Broncos by a combined score or 98 to 37.  I expect the same this year.. ML PREDICTS – Oakland 41  Denver 24

Sunday, Sep. 18, 1:00pm at Buffalo Bills – Last year, the Bills were a pathetic 4-12.  I do not see any reason to believe there will be much improvement this year.  In the last 5 meetings of the teams, Oakland is 4-1, losing the last meeting by 1 point in 2008.  The Raiders will be leaving Buffalo with a victory.. ML PREDICTS – Oakland 20  Buffalo 10 

Sunday, Sep. 25,  4:05pm vs New York Jets – Since 2002, these 2 teams have met 9 times, including 2 playoff games – both of which Oakland has won.  Overall, since 2002, Oakland is 4-5 against the staunch Jets.  New York has reason to be optimistic about their team, and this will carry them through Oakland’s 2011 home opener.   I believe the Jets will dampen the spirits of the Raider Nation this Sunday.  ML PREDICTS – New York 21  Oakland 17 

Sunday, Oct. 2, 4:15pm vs New England Patriots – “The Snow Bowl,” “The Tuck Game.”  Since that Jan 2002 playoff loss to the Patriots, the Raiders have met New England only twice, and have lost both games.  This year, I have a feeling Oakland will not lose 2 in a row at home and will defeat the aging Pats in front of  The Black Hole.. ML PREDICTS Oakland 27  New England 20 

Sunday, Oct. 9, 1:00pm at Houston Texans – In week 5, the Raiders travel to Houston, where they will meet the Texans.  Oakland is a horrible 1-5 in the short history of this match-up.  Last year, Houston beat the Raiders 31-24.  Is it just me, or do these two teams both seem to play down to their opponents?  I don’t think that is happening this year.. Oakland leaves Houston happy..ML PREDICTS Oakland 24  Houston 6 

Sunday, Oct. 16, 4:05pm vs Cleveland Browns – Ahhhhh memories.. 10/01/2006.. Probably  THE greatest weekend of my life.. IN OAKLAND.. A Cleveland boy decked out in Raider gear at the Black Hole..  Oakland is 12-8 against the Brownies, and although improving, I don’t see Cleveland beating Oakland in this game.  ML PREDICTS Oakland 26  Cleveland 10 

Sunday, Oct. 23,  4:05pm vs Kansas City Chiefs – Last year, Oakland beat KC in both meetings including a 31-10 beating in the final game.  This trend continues this year as there will be no reason that the Raiders will not beat Kansas City at home in week 7.  ML PREDICTS Oakland 20  Kansas City 13


Sunday, Nov. 6, 4:05pm vs Denver Broncos – Since 2003, Oakland has played their division rival Denver Broncos 16 times going 6 – 10.. BUT the Raiders have won 4 of the last 5 meetings.. I believe that again this year, Oakland will sweep the series by beating the bumbling Broncos at home in week 9..  ML PREDICTS Oakland 41  Denver 17

Thursday, Nov. 10, 8:20pm at San Diego Chargers – Oakland and San Diego will kick off the 2011 season of Thursday Night Football in week 10.   Take away the Raiders sweep of the Bolts last year, and you have 13 straight losses to San Diego going back to 2003.. OUCH.. Sadly, I do not see Oakland winning this game in prime time.. ML PREDICTS  San Diego 31  Oakland 17

Sunday, Nov. 20, 1:00pm at Minnesota Vikings – The Raiders are 9-4 against the Vikings.  Minnesota is an excellent team with plenty of talent and will run run run the ball on Oakland in this match up.. The Raiders leave Minnesota miserable and melancholy.. ML PREDICTS Minnesota 24  Oakland 7 

Sunday, Nov. 27, 4:05pm vs Chicago Bears –  In week 12, the Raiders will host the Chicago Bears.  The series is split 6-6 against Chicago, and “Da Bears” are a team on the rise.. I believe this is going to be a battle of defenses with Chicago squeaking out an over-time victory.  ML PREDICTS Chicago 23  Oakland 20 

Sunday, Dec. 4, 1:00pm at Miami Dolphins – Florida in December anyone?  After 2 straight losses, the Raiders are going to take out some frustrations on the floundering Dolphins.  Since 1998, Oakland is a repulsive 2-7 against Miami but the tide turns this year as Oakland leaves Miami with a much needed victory.. ML PREDICTS  Oakland 35  Miami 10 

Sunday, Dec. 11, 1:00pm at Green Bay Packers –  Brrrrrr.. the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field in December against the defending Super Bowl Champs.. Doesn’t sound too fun, does it?  It probably wont be either.  Since 1990, the Packers have beat the Raiders 5 out of 5 games.  Green Bay is extremely talented, and has a good chance of getting back to the Super Bowl in 2011.  The Raiders leave with a bone chilling loss..  ML PREDICTS  Green Bay 28  Oakland 7 

Sunday, Dec. 18, 4:05pm vs Detroit Lions – Week 15 brings a much needed home game against a horrible team, the Detroit Lions.  Since 1970, these 2 teams have met only 10 times with Oakland leading the series 6 to 4.   Although the Lions have some young, raw talent, it will not be enough to beat the rebounding Raiders.  ML PREDICTS Oakland 36  Detroit 13 

Saturday, Dec. 24, 1:00pm at Kansas City Chiefs – The Raiders will sweep the Chiefs again this year as they deliver the Raider Nation a Christmas Eve victory.  ML PREDICTS Oakland 27 Kansas City 7 

Sunday, Jan. 1, 4:15pm vs San Diego Chargers – It will be a Happy New Year for the Black Hole as Oakland will beat San Diego in a division title deciding final game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on New Years Day.   I could see this game going into over-time with Oakland winning in the final seconds on the leg of Sebastian Janikowski sealing their first AFC Western Division title since 2002.  ML PREDICTS  Oakland 34  San Diego 31 

Building on last year’s 8-8 record, I see Oakland going 11-5 in 2011 and winning the AFC Western Division.  As far as how far into the play-offs they will go, I will give that prediction later on during the season.  If all goes well in the draft and they pick up some talented free agents, I believe that this is going to be a solid team that can and will get to the play-offs in 2011… Of course with the threat of no new negotiations and of a lock-out looming, it may not make a difference.. Lets hope that both sides of the current dispute can work out the differences and we are “ready for some football” come September..



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