Oakland Raiders: Breaking Down the 2016 Schedule

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The NFL released the upcoming 2016 schedule, which puts an improved Oakland Raiders roster to test early and late in the season.

Dec 6, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders fans Jason Freedy (right) and Jose Delgado pose during an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs at O.co Coliseum. The Chiefs defeated the Raiders 34-20. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders schedule features two rough patches at the beginning and tail end of the season, a midseason stretch where the Raiders should rattle off consecutive victories and a favorable Week 10 bye that nearly cuts the season into halves.

For the Raiders, another season ending without a playoff appearance should feel like a failure. In 2015, Oakland finished third in the AFC West and optimistic fans have elevated expectations after a busy free-agent period:

It’s worth noting, the Raiders play against four playoff teams from the previous season, totaling six games, four contests against divisional foes. The NFL didn’t set up huge obstacles for Oakland, but timing and travel factor into winning and losing streaks throughout the season.

What are some scheduling factors that could trip up or catapult the Raiders into the postseason for the first time since 2003?

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