Las Vegas Raiders: The Josh McDaniels experience could get off to a horrible start
Every team in the AFC West has a tough schedule as they have to play each other as well as the same divisions. There are three extra games for each team that are unique, and for the Raiders those three games are against the New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints and Pittsburgh Steelers. That is worse than the Chargers, who play the Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons and a Cleveland Browns team that might not have Deshaun Watson.
The Raiders have the second-hardest schedule in the AFC West and the team really is not getting a favorable start before their bye week. A slow start can really slow down a team, especially considering this is the first year of the Josh McDaniels experience in Vegas.
McDaniels was not a good head coach when he was in Denver and if the Raiders get off to a painfully slow start in 2022 then there is no guarantee that they will be able to battle back into contention for first place. If we assume that the AFC West winner needs to win at least 12 games then the Raiders will have a lot of work to do after the bye.
The Raiders start the season at the Chargers, home against the Cardinals, at the Titans, home against the Broncos and at the Chiefs. Not only are they going back and forth, but there is a world in which they are not favored in a single one of those games.
The Raiders will likely win one or two of those games, but will they start 3-2 or better? Absolutely not. It is more likely that they start 0-5 than it is 3-2. And if they start 0-5, they would have to finish on a 12-game win streak to get to the 12-win mark. The Raiders very well could be out of the division hunt by Week 6.