Approximately eight hours after this post goes up, the NFL will be releasing the complete 2011 regular season schedule, lockout be damned. We'll then know a little bit more about the Oakland Raiders and their long, uphill road through the 2011 season. The Raiders surprised a lot of people last year with their play, taking it hard to some of the tougher teams and thus could see themselves get a couple primetime games in 2011. Last season, the Raiders didn't get a single primetime game, at least that I can remember. How will they do on that front going forward?
Well, seeing as how they're improved, and their AFC West rival Kansas City Chiefs significantly improved, it may be time to give this old and vicious rivalry the kind of primetime coverage it deserves. I would be shocked if the Raiders did not end up on Thursday Night Football or Monday Night Football against the Chiefs. It's one of the best rivalries in the NFL, but it's not something they were able to work with, when quite frankly, both teams just weren't very good. Many people have said the NFL is a better place when the Raiders are good, and this rivalry is key in that.
Beyond that, there's really not a whole lot to go on. Perhaps the New England Patriots matchup will get some play from the Richard Seymour angle. Seymour was sent over to Oakland in a trade for a first round pick, which the Patriots will be spending in the upcoming 2011 NFL Draft. I could also see other divisional matchups getting play, seeing as how the Raiders handled inter-divisional play in 2010, so the Chargers or Broncos could be an option.
There's obviously room for others, but those are my best guesses right now. You never know how it's going to shakeout exactly, and that's the beauty. Join us for the schedule release at 4:00 p.m. and don't forget to check out Silver And Black Pride.