The NFL has released schedules for the 2021 season and the Las Vegas Raiders have quite a few hills to climb if they want to make it to postseason.

The Las Vegas Raiders might be looking to make the playoffs for the first time in four years but will have to overcome some pretty tricky obstacles throughout the 2021 season. In fact, between the Raiders starting their season on Monday Night Football against the Pittsburgh Steelers and facing the Baltimore Ravens the very next week, this will be a demanding schedule to play. The Raiders do get somewhat of a break in week three against the Miami Dolphins, but even that will be a difficult victory if the team after those first two games.

The Raiders will then play their first divisional game against the Los Angeles Chargers, which could be a good chance for the team to get back on track. Then again, they were 1-1 against the Chargers last season, succumbing in a 31-27 contest in the middle of the season, but the Raiders have a few more weapons this time around to help them with that. After their first divisional game of the season, the Raiders then move on to the Chicago Bears before getting another divisional game against the Denver Broncos.

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The Raiders might be 3-3 at that point in the season and struggling to stay competitive with the Kansas City Cheifs. Now, that doesn't mean the Raiders can't limp in on a wild card or even make the playoffs outright, but they have just never shown the same kind of consistency that the Chiefs had. So with that being said, expect the Raiders to be running second and playing it week by week when it comes to making the playoffs or not.

Once the Raiders get to the six-game mark, they will likely be thrown into games against the Philadelphia Eagles and the Giants. Now, one can reasonably expect the Raiders to split these two games, but it's all a matter of who they lose to. In all honesty, though, they would probably be much more likely to take a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles than the New York Giants, who are still very much a team in freefall. This ultimately brings the Raiders to 4-4 in the first eight and gives them a decent shot at making the postseason.

That brings us to a very crucial game against the Kansas City Chiefs, which could end up determining how the second half of their season plays out and if they make the playoffs or not. With that in mind, the Raiders did manage to defeat the Chiefs 40-32 in their first game last season, but who knows if lightning can strike twice. 

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Then the team moves on to the Cincinnati Bengals, which is pretty much going to be a toss-up due to Joe Burrow being such an incredible Quarterback and could leave the Raiders with another crushing loss. Also, if the Raiders lose these two games here, it leaves them in a virtual free-fall mode heading into the season's final seven games. Fortunately for the organization, they then have games against The Cowboys and the Washington Football Team, who are both pretty middle-of-the-road opponents.

This means that the Raiders could easily get their season back on track against these two games before preparing for a clash against the Browns and the Chiefs. Now, the Chiefs might not be a team that the Raiders can win against this year, but the Raiders did knock off the Browns last year 16-6, making that at least a likely victory. After what is likely to be a loss to the Chiefs, the Raiders then have just the Broncos, the Colts, and the Chargers to deal with before the end of the season.

In the end, the Colts would be a difficult game to win due to how much progress the team has made in the last year, but the Chargers and the Broncos should be mincemeat at that point in the season. Add in their game against the Browns right after the Chiefs and you have an opportunity for them to win at least three of their last four games and make a shot at the playoffs. Now, this isn't a guaranteed thing and a lot of x-factors could blow this whole prediction to smithereens, but it looks like this will finally be the year that the Raiders make it back to the postseason.

Final prediction. Raiders make playoffs after going 10-7.

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