Raiders

Raiders

We're not sure if you’ve heard, but the Raiders have a tough schedule in 2019. In fact, it's projected to be the toughest in the NFL.

Besides facing their AFC West rivals twice each, the Raiders have cross-division matchups with the AFC South and the NFC North. Oh, and the Silver and Black will go six weeks in between games in Oakland.

When the NFL schedule was released Wednesday, it revealed that after the Raiders play the Kansas City Chiefs in Oakland on Sept. 15, they won't return to the Black Hole until Nov. 3. In the middle of that stretch, the Raiders will be the de-facto home team for a meeting with the Chicago Bears in London before having their bye in Week 6.

While the NFL normally doesn't mind teams being on the road for consecutive weeks, this is one instance where they would like a mulligan. 

"This is one that the NFL would love to have back. It's certainly not unusual for an NFL team to have one home game over a six-week stretch," NFL vice president of broadcasting Michael North told USA TODAY Sports. "But when that one home (game) isn't actually home, this is likely something that the NFL would seek to avoid in the future.

"I'd love a redo on that one."

The Raiders also likely wish the NFL could construct the schedule a different way. 

After playing the Chiefs in Week 2, coach Jon Gruden's team will head to Minnesota to face the Vikings, then travel to Indianapolis before heading across the pond to face the Bears. After their Week 6 bye, they'll head back on the road to face the Green Bay Packers and the Houston Texans before finally returning home to host the Detroit Lions.

 

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There's no question this five-game stretch will define the Raiders' season.

Should the Raiders leave Houston with a 4-3 record, they'll likely be right in the thick of things as the calendar turns to November.

If the road woes get the best of the Silver and Black, though, it could send them into offseason mode a few months early.