The Raiders will have one, big advantage when they go into 2018, hoping to rebound from a sour 2017:
The third-easiest schedule in the league.
Oakland goes into 2018 with a cumulative winning percentage for all opponents of .473. In terms of easiest strength of schedule, the Raiders only trail the Houston Texans (whose opponents have a cumulative .453 winning percentage) and the Tennessee Titans (.465).
As Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com pointed out, the Raiders had a much tougher road in 2017, when they entered the season with the fourth-hardest strength of schedule. Then, the Raiders fell from 12-4 and a trip to the playoffs in 2016, to 6-10 in 2017.
As Gutierrez wrote, the decline from 12-4 to 6-10 was the second-largest decline in record from one season to the next in franchise history. After going 11-5 in 2002, the Raiders were 4-12 in 2003.
This coming season, the Raiders’ non-division opponents will consist of Cleveland (0-16 in 2017), Pittsburgh (13-3), Los Angeles Rams (11-5), Indianapolis (4-12), Baltimore (9-7), Cincinnati (7-9), Arizona (8-8), San Francisco (6-10) and Miami (6-10).
NFL analyst John Breech of CBS Sports noted that the 2018 schedule is one big positive for new head coach Jon Gruden.
"One guy who might be able to pull off a quick turnaround during his first year as coach in Jon Gruden," he wrote. "Not only do the Raiders have one of the three easiest schedules heading into 2018, but they have a total of only four games against playoff teams from 2017, which is tied for a league low."