ALAMEDA, Calif. -- What, you thought the NFL's schedule-making gods were going to take it easy on the Oakland Raiders after consecutive 4-12 seasons in which they ended both years on six-game losing streaks while dropping eight of nine?
Based on this past season's records, the Raiders will have the toughest overall strength of schedule in the league, as their 2014 opponents had a combined .578 winning percentage in 2013. And it gets tougher on the road, as the teams Oakland will face on the road had a winning percentage of .602 last season.
The Raiders travel to play the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks (13-3), the New England Patriots (12-4), the New York Jets (8-8), the St. Louis Rams (7-9), the Cleveland Browns and the three AFC West teams that all made the playoffs -- the AFC champion Denver Broncos (13-3), Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) and San Diego Chargers (9-7).
Oakland's home opponents had a .555 winning percentage last year, fifth-highest in the NFL but tied for third-toughest in the AFC West. The Raiders will play host to the San Francisco 49ers (12-4), the Arizona Cardinals (10-6), the Miami Dolphins (8-8), the Buffalo Bills (6-10), the Houston Texans (2-14) and their division foes in the Broncos, Chiefs and Chargers. Plus, the game against the Dolphins will be played in London on Sept. 28.
Dates and times for the rest of the schedule will be released in April.