Kansas City Chiefs: 2019 predictions for the rest of the AFC West

(Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
(Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) /
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Running back Josh Jacobs #28 of the Oakland Raiders  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Running back Josh Jacobs #28 of the Oakland Raiders  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Oakland Raiders

2018 Record: 4-12

Key Player: Josh Jacobs, Running Back

The Oakland Raiders could have a dynamic offense this year. Could.

Regardless, Jacobs, the No. 24 pick in last year’s draft, should figure prominently and put up significant numbers in an offense that is void of non-frostbitten playmakers. Expect him to put up stats that rival Saquon Barkley’s from a season ago as he can both rush the ball and catch it out of the backfield.

Unfortunately, the Raiders still won’t be any good this season. This will be just one season of Jacobs’ short prime wasted in the name of…well, I’m not exactly sure. But running backs don’t last nearly as long as they used to as the position has become more interchangeable than ever (see: Chiefs, Kansas City, 2018).

And yet, Jacobs will get the main bulk of the responsibilities in Oakland as the Raiders (probably) wrap up their tenure there. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the front office made a significant trade in the upcoming draft to try to land a start quarterback to replace Carr, much like what the Rams did after landing in L.A. after years of futility in St. Louis.

Turned out well for the Rams, as they had Todd Gurley to help smooth the transition. Seems like the Raiders are hoping for the same result.

Swing Game: Week 5, vs Chicago Bears (in London)

Heading into the team’s Week 5 international match-up against the Bears, I have the Raiders at 1-3, winning versus the Broncos in Week 1 before dropping three straight. A win against Chicago puts Oakland at 2-3 before an early Week 6 open week.

Following that bye comes two straight away games in Green Bay and Houston. With a win against the Bears and splitting those Week 7 and Week 8 games, this squad has a chance at a decent season and a huge improvement on last year’s 4-12 record.

But it won’t happen. Oakland will lose that London game before losing to both the Packers and Texans, extending the losing streak to six games. Another six-game losing streak will follow starting in Week 12 that runs through the end of the season as the Raiders somehow regress from 2018.

Yet that puts them in prime contention to select either Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa or Oregon’s Justin Herbert. The present is bleak, but the future looks bright.

2019 Record: 3-13