Raiders schedule 2018: Jon Gruden returns to less of a grind

The Raiders improved by four games in the standings the last time Jon Gruden coached his first season in Oakland. Twenty years later, the Raiders would love some deja vu to help them get closer ot the 12-4 team they were in 2016, not the disappointing 6-10 of’ ’17.

What will help Oakland is a favorable strength of schedule based on last season’s results. This season’s opponents went a combined 121-135 (.473). tied with Cincinnati’s schedule for third “easiest.”

Bottom line: The Raiders will be significantly better under Gruden in time, but the coaching change plus remixed personnel in a difficult division will hold them back in the short term. Although Oakland will hang around in the AFC wild-card race because of the schedule’s weaknesses, the team will fall short of its surprise 2016 form. Record prediction: 8-8

The NFL commissioner broke his silence Monday and released a lengthy statement that highlighted the importance of preserving the integrity of the game and requested a federal framework for legalized gambling.

The full statement read:

As it was for my predecessors, there is no greater priority for me as the Commissioner of the National Football League than protecting the integrity of our sport. Our fans, our players and our coaches deserve to know that we are doing everything possible to ensure no improper influences affect how the game is played on the field. This week’s ruling by the Supreme Court has no effect on that unwavering commitment.
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