Tuesday, April 15, 2008

2008 Raiders Schedule

To the delight of the fans, the NFL announced the 2008 schedule today! Here is a link to the Raiders schedule:

You've got to hand it to the strong arm of the NFL marketing machine to continually keep the league's business front and center 12 months of the year. It is amazing how a league with 4 months of regular season games has such strong exposure 24/7/365. Think about it ... from January to December the league is on the minds of professional football enthusiasts.

January >>> Playoffs & SuperBowl
February >>> Pro Bowl & NFL Combine
March >>> Free Agency
April >>> Announcement of schedule plus the draft which is a cottage industry upon itself
May >>> Mini camps
June through July >>> Training camps and personnel moves
August >>> Exhibition season
September through December >>> Regular season games

Like many Raider fans, as soon as the schedule comes out I'm excited about picking which games to visit Oakland. I start looking at the matchups and dates to come up with a short list of possible games to select. My short list this year although subject to change consists of week 4 vs. SD, week 13 vs. KC, and week 15 vs. New England. The divisional games always are a high priority for obvious reasons.

A few observations and notes on the Raiders 2008 schedule:

* Besides the usual divisional foes, the Raiders are lined up to play the AFC East (New England, NY Jets, Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills) plus the NFC South (Tampa Bay, New Orleans, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers).

* This year's schedule seems favorable overall in a number of ways. There aren't any back to back east coast swing games. There aren't any road games where weather should be a factor excluding the possibility of snow flurries for the game in Denver on 11/23.

* The Raiders only face 3 teams that made the playoffs in 2007 (SD, New England, Tampa Bay).

* The Raiders have the 3rd easiest schedule based on their opponents winning percentage in 2007. The Raiders opponents had a combined record of 112-144 for a .438 winning percentage.

* The Raiders have 2 prime time games; MNF vs. Denver opener and NFL Network Thursday night matchup at divisional rival SD Chargers.

* Lane Kiffin will get to match wits in a battle of his offense vs. his father Monte's Tampa Bay defense.

* The only real downside to the 2008 schedule that I noticed was having the bye week so early in the season (week 5).

* Although the schedule for each team follows a predetermined formula, I find it rather odd that for the 3rd consecutive season, the Raiders will host the Houston Texans.

* Along those same lines, for the 3rd consecutive season, the Raiders are squared off with at least 1 SB participant from the previous year; 2006 (Pittsburg, Seattle); 2007 (Chicago, Indy); 2008 (New England).

* It will be very interesting to see some of the other teams high draft choices fare vs. the Raiders. Teams like Miami (#1 pick), Atlanta (#3 pick), KC (#5 pick), NJ Jets (#6 pick) and New England (#7 pick) are all on the 2008 docket.

The beauty of being a true fan is that when the official schedule comes out it marks a clean slate, a fresh beginning, and a brand new season filled with hope.


Anonymous Whitey said...

Take Benny to the Chargers game. That seems like a no-brainer -- unless you don't want to risk him getting into trouble wearing the powder-blue LaDamian jersey in the Oakland Coliseum (I know it's got a new name).
On second thought, take Matty every year.

3:40 AM  
Blogger Tim Mo said...

The Raiders ALWAYS have a bye during Week 5.

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Randy said...

on your statement:

...I find it rather odd...for the 3rd consecutive season, the Raiders are squared off with at least 1 SB participant from the previous year.

I wondered what the odds are of this happening. I'm not sure how you would calculate the true odds, but I looked at this year's schedule to see how many other teams play one or both of last year's Superbowl participants. Here is what I found:

Teams playing 0 Superbowl participants...10

Teams playing 1 Superbowl participant...10

Teams playing 2 Superbowl participants...10

So unless this year was unusual, there is a 66% chance of playing at least one Superbowl participant from the previous year, only a 33% chance that you won't play one.

6:31 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Tim Mo: Looking at this decade, the Raiders have not had an ideal bye week.

2008 Bye week 5
2007 Bye week 5
2006 Bye week 3
2005 Bye week 5
2004 Bye week 10
2003 Bye week 8
2002 Bye week 3
2001 Bye week 6
2000 Bye week 5

Personally, I think it ideal to have the bye week fall somewhere between weeks 7 and 10.

Randy: It is one thing to say the odds are 66% that a team would have to play at least 1 SB participant but how about in 3 consecutive years? How about the odds of playing 2 SB participants in both 2006 and 2005?

I realize the schedule follows a predetermined formula ... I just found it interesting that in 3 consecutive seasons we have been lined up with either 1 or 2 SB partipants from the previous year.

7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A new start indeed CJ,I'll drink to that..I am genuinely (for once without the rose coloured glasses)hopefull of big improvement this season,and i think with good reason.DESPITE the media fools claims of overspending i for one love the offseason signings.Al has put his hand in his pocket and added players who should make a big difference to the teams fortunes IMO.
Now,if we can only convince the dolphins that Jake Long is god in a helmet, i think(here come the RC glasses again)the Rams & Falcons will pick Dorsey & Ryan respectively... the RAIDERS then take Chris Long after a full 1.2 seconds of deliberation and we start to celebrate the return of our beloved team to their rightful position among the NFL elite.
Enjoy the draft,nation.I'm off to doctors to see why everything looks a bit pink.

3:43 AM  
Blogger kigleigh said...

sorry that last post was left anonymous unintentionally by me CJ

3:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calico Jack said

"I just found it interesting that in 3 consecutive seasons we have been lined up with either 1 or 2 SB partipants from the previous year."

Not just the Raiders, but the ENTIRE AFC West. Everyone always forgets that it is the entire AFC West that plays both or one Super Bowl Participants when they complain about the schedule.

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Lynn said...

Thanks for writing this.

1:20 PM  

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