Now that Jon Gruden is officially the coach of the Oakland Raiders, we know one thing is for certain – this team is going to be get a lot of attention.
ESPN did an hour-long special Tuesday to mark Gruden’s return. That didn’t happen when Dennis Allen was hired, did it?
Remember, how excited you were after 2016 season you were. The Raiders went 12-4 and they were relevant again. And they were all over prime-time televise in 2017. And they flopped. Oakland was 6-10 last season and it went 2-3 in prime-time. That is a recipe for losing prime-time gigs the next season.
But Chucky took care of that. The Raiders are going to be all over your TV screen next season.
I’d think the Raiders could be a candidate to play in the 2018 NFL season opener against the Super Bowl. But the problem is that is not possible. Of the eight teams remaining in the playoffs, the only team Oakland plays next season is the Pittsburgh Steelers. But it’s an Oakland home game, so that won ‘t work.
Below are five opponents I predict the Raiders will play in a prime-time game. The schedule comes out in April, so we won’t know how wrong I will be for three months, which is nice. Hopefully you all forget.
Monday night, Week 1: Home against Denver. An AFC West matchup is often the second of the Week 1 Monday Night doubleheader. The East Coast will stay up for a 10 p.m. start to see Gruden’s return. The Broncos would be the sideshow.
Raiders at San Francisco 49ers: Jonny G. against Jimmy G. Why not? The Raiders and 49ers both finished 6-10 in 2017. However, the expectations in 2018 are sky high. What a Bay Area Monday night buzz this would create in Santa Clara.
Los Angles Rams at Oakland: Gruden was the young offensive gun when he was in Oakland the first time. Now, he’s 54. The Rams’ Sean McVay, whose first NFL job was under Gruden in Tampa Bay in 2008, is this generation’s Gruden. Let’s matchup them up on a Monday night.
Pittsburgh at Oakland: If Gruden gets the Raiders’ right, this could be a great late-season national game. And it’s another home game.
Oakland at Kansas City: We’ve seen this movie before the two played one of the NFL:’s best games of 2017 on a Thursday night in October. So, America would be up for this game again.
Again, this is a just a little January fun. Whatever the schedule will be, expect to see the Chucky Raiders play at night a lot this season,