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Graney: Here’s my Raiders record prediction with 2024 schedule out

Updated May 16, 2024 - 8:01 am

And here I thought the most exciting thing about Netflix was the upcoming new seasons of “Virgin River” and “Bridgerton.”

Alas, they will be overshadowed by the fact that the streaming service has entered the world of the National Football League.

Netflix will show Christmas Day games for at least the next three years, adding yet another way you can view the country’s most popular sport. And, of course, making more money for the league in the process.

It was all part of the NFL’s schedule announcement for the 2024 season Wednesday, another made-for-television extravaganza that is more bizarre than those new kickoff rules.

Three hours to tell us about matchups we already knew, except for actual dates and times.

But we watch.

We always watch.

And that’s the point.

This league has had us by the eyeballs for decades now. We can’t get enough of it. They could show Roger Goodell eating a sandwich for three hours and we’d tune in to make sure he didn’t announce anything important between bites.

So whether it’s cable or Sunday Ticket or Amazon Prime or Peacock or ESPN+ or NFL+ or Netflix, expect this coming season to be as popular as ever.

That should include several Raiders games, but know that the silver and black won’t be prime-time participants as often as in years past.

Here are some thoughts about what lies ahead for them …

Spelling it out

S is for siblings. The Raiders open the season with road games against the Chargers and Ravens. Why so intriguing? Los Angeles is coached by first-year man Jim Harbaugh and the Ravens by older brother John Harbaugh.

C is for Saints quarterback and former Raider Derek Carr. The teams don’t meet until Week 17 on Dec. 29 in New Orleans, perhaps taking away some luster from the matchup in this sense. By then, each side’s playoff chances might already have been decided. A post-Christmas snoozer? I suppose not with Carr in the mix, no matter the records of each team.

H is for Happy Thanksgiving. The Raiders are at the Chiefs on Black Friday, meaning you can sleep through that turkey coma before enjoying the game.

E is for easy win? The Raiders, after opening with two straight road games, come home to face the Panthers and second-year quarterback Bryce Young. And yes, Carolina is expected to stink yet again.

D is for driving at high rates of speed. On the same weekend the Raiders host Denver on Nov. 24, the town will be staging its Formula One race around The Strip.

U is for understanding opportunity. The Raiders might face seven playoff teams from a year ago — including five of the seven that qualified from the AFC — but none are on the schedule the final four weeks of the season. And three of those games are at home. So if it takes a late run to contend for the postseason, things might set up quite well for the Raiders.

L is for the bright lights of Monday Night Football. The Raiders host Atlanta on Dec. 16 in the prime-time game. Question is, at this point in the season, could we see rookie Michael Penix Jr. at quarterback for the Falcons?

E is for evaluating the schedule and predicting a record. Questions at quarterback. A first-year full-time coach. Unsure if the defense can continue its stellar play from last season.

Not changing now

Hit it on the mark with my 8-9 call for 2023.

See no reason to change now. It’s just feels the same.

It’s an 8-9 schedule, among the eight toughest in the NFL the season.

It’s as sure a bet as how much I want the next season of “Virgin River” to drop.

Ed Graney, a Sigma Delta Chi Award winner for sports column writing, can be reached at egraney@reviewjournal.com. He can be heard on “The Press Box,” ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and 1100 AM, from 7 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Follow @edgraney on X.

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