Projected record: 11–5
Five primetime games in 2017? The Raiders are back, baby! ...Well, as long as Derek Carr comes back healthy from his broken leg. Oakland opens with three of its first four on the road, and I have them dropping games in Tennessee and Denver as the Raiders try to find the same magic from the first 15 games last season. After that, the machine that Reggie McKenzie has built should get double-digit wins again.
Pivotal game: Week 7 vs. Chiefs. Kansas City went undefeated in the AFC West last year and beat the Raiders by a combined 24 points in their two meetings. In fact, it was Carr’s lackluster performances against the Chiefs (52 percent completion rate, one touchdown, one interception) that doomed his MVP chances. Oakland needs this Thursday night home win.