Raiders open at Titans, featured in five prime-time games for 2017

Raiders open at Titans, featured in five prime-time games for 2017

The Raiders have the fourth-toughest strength of schedule. They travel a bunch, have a tough road stretch and play five contests against 2016 playoff teams.

There are requisite home-and-home slates against the AFC West, a full turn in the AFC and NFC East. They lose a home game to Mexico City against the Super Bowl champion Patriots.

It’s clear the Raiders’ 12-4 record in 2016 excited TV executives, because the Silver and Black will be featured in five primetime matchups. That includes two night games at Oakland Coliseum, against Dallas and Kansas City. They play at Washington and Seattle on Sunday Night Football, and have a Monday Night game at Philadelphia on Christmas.

The full NFL schedule was released on Thursday evening. Let’s take a look at how it all shook out, game by game:

Raiders 2017 regular-season schedule
Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 10, at Tennessee, 10 a.m. (CBS)
Comment: Raiders will play in Nashville a third-straight season. Might be a good thing, considering they’ve won there the last two years. Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota broke ankles on the same day last season. Seasons will start in the same game.

Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 17, vs. New York Jets 1:05 p.m. (CBS)
Comment: Oakland’s home opener comes against Gang Green…Good defense, but still no quarterback…

Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 24, at Washington (Sunday Night Football) 5:30 p.m., NBC
Comment: The first of five primetime games starts in the nation’s capital.

Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 1, at Denver, 1:25 p.m. (CBS)
Comment: First division game of the regular season. Always a tough test in Denver.

Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 8, vs. Baltimore Ravens, 1:05 p.m. (CBS)
Comment: Third straight year the Raiders have played Flacco and friends. Raiders won the last two.

Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 15, vs. L.A. Chargers, 1:25 p.m. (CBS)
Comment: Not sure what kind of matchup this might be. Lots of talent, but this team has been injury prone in recent seasons.

Week 7: Thursday, Oct. 19, vs. Kansas City (Thursday Night Football), 5:25 p.m. (NFLN)
Comment: Raiders had to travel two time zones on a short week. Chiefs doing the same this time around.

Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 29, at Buffalo, 10 a.m. (CBS)
Comment: The start of two straight East Coast road trips. The Raiders asked for such a situation, and likely won’t come home in between games.

Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 5, at Miami (Sunday Night Football), 5:30 p.m. (NBC)
Comment: The Raiders finished a two-game road trip last season with consecutive wins. Can they do it again?

Week 10: BYE
Comment: Bye week comes in the midst of a three-game road stretch, if you count a home game played in Mexico City.

Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 19, vs. New England at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, 1:25 p.m. (CBS)
Comment: Thought this might’ve been a primetime game. Still an excellent matchup. Too bad for Oakland Raiders fans this “home” game is being played abroad.

Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 26, vs. Denver at 1:25 p.m. (CBS)
Comment: Excellent offense vs. excellent defense. Long-standing division rivalry. A good matchup the last few years.

Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 3, vs. New York Giants 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
Comment: The Raiders have a stacked schedule. This one is sneaky tough.

Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 10, at Kansas City, 10 a.m. (CBS)
Comment: Raiders have struggled at Arrowhead Stadium lately. They’ll need to play well despite an early kickoff. Raiders could contend for the AFC West title again this year.

Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 17, vs. Dallas (Sunday Night Football), 5:30 p.m. (NBC)
Comment: Best matchup of the year for fans in Oakland coming in primetime. Excellent matchup between two rising powers. Should be a fun time in the East Bay.

Week 16: Monday, Dec. 25, at Philadelphia (Monday Night Football), 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Comment: Raiders spending Christmas night in Philly. Might be a cold one against Carson Wentz.

Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 31, at L.A. Chargers, 1:25 p.m. (CBS)
Comment: Raiders will miss playing at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium, their home away from home. They might make Carson’s StubHub Center another one if the Bolts aren’t in it and fans start selling their tickets.

New Raiders RB Hood modeled game after Marshawn, wants to learn from Lynch

New Raiders RB Hood modeled game after Marshawn, wants to learn from Lynch

ALAMEDA – It took significant time for Elijah Hood’s name to be called in this year’s NFL draft. The North Carolina running back was nearly last, the No. 242 overall selection.

He didn’t care. Hood was ecstatic, genuinely emotional on a Saturday conference call with local media.

He was excited to be a Raiders. He was over the moon about working with Marshawn Lynch.

The 220-pound power runner has tried to emulate the Oakland native, who became a Raider on Wednesday. Learning from him is a dream come true.

“Marshawn is the back who I’ve modeled my game after the most,” Hood said. “I just can’t wait to be in that running back room with him. He has so much to offer. He’s a veteran and a professional is how he conducts business. I feel like I have so many questions I need to ask, and so much I need to learn from him about what it takes to be successful. He’s the man I wanted to become as a running back.”

Lynch ranks high among the most elusive, physical, tackle-breaking backs of his generation, and Hood will be a sponge whenever he’s around his new teammate.

The running back room is full, with Lynch, DeAndre Washington, Jalen Richard and Jamize Olawale. That’s the group expected to hit the regular season, but Hood believes he can earn a spot and continue to develop with the organization.

He dropped more than 10 pounds this offseason to be a more elusive runner, without losing his trademark power rushing style. Hood hopes to stick around and earn more carries in time.

“I have nothing but work ahead of me, and I can’t wait to do it,” Hood said. “I’m so blessed to be with this team and work with the running backs already there.”

Raiders select DT Treyvon Hester in seventh round of 2017 NFL Draft

Raiders select DT Treyvon Hester in seventh round of 2017 NFL Draft

TREYVON HESTER
Position: Defensive tackle
College: Toledo
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 300 pounds
Selection: Seventh round, No. 244 overall

ALAMEDA – The Raiders’ added yet another big defensive tackle to the roster with their fourth and final pick in the seventh round. Toledo’s Treyvon Hester was the selection, another powerful gap controller, who can break into the backfield with regularity at the college level.

Analysts say he has active hands that help him beat blockers. Critics say his motor can run out during longer plays, and may not have quality pass-rush ability.

He could develop into a rotational piece on the defensive interior, and he’ll have a chance to compete for a 2017 roster spot. Several lower-round or undrafted talents have contribute there, and Hester will certainly try to add his name to that list.