The NFL just gave the Raiders the toughest schedule for 2019

Life isn’t fair, and neither is the Oakland Raiders’ 2019 NFL schedule.

The Raiders could muster only a 4-12 record in their 2018 campaign. For that effort, the NFL rewarded them with a fourth overall draft pick and a miserable schedule for next season.

The 2019 Strength of Schedule, based on current rosters (not 2018 records), shows Oakland as facing a tougher road than any of the 32 teams. The team with the easiest schedule is your 2019 Super Bowl winner, the New England Patriots.

The Raiders got hit with a double whammy. Not only is their own division the hardest in the AFC top to bottom, but this season they must play every team in what is arguably the best division in the NFC, the Central, home of the formidable Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings.

Oakland’s easiest tests appear to be against the creampuff Jets on the road, and the Lions and Bengals at home.

ESPN’s Mike Clay says only the Kansas City Chiefs will face a tougher slate of opposing defenses than the Raiders. Because of that and their rough schedule, Clay predicts another dismal showing for Oakland, resulting in another top-five draft pick in 2020.

As for the 49ers, the 2019 Strength of Schedule ranks them in the middle of the pack, 15th easiest. They open with winnable games on the road against Tampa Bay and Cincinnati, but stiff challenges against the Steelers and Browns at home follow.

MORE: Raiders’ Antonio Brown, Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster beef on Twitter

San Francisco’s toughest competition appears to be in its own division — the four games against the Rams and Seattle.

Throw in an away game against the Saints, and you have a recipe for a 8-8 or 9-7 record.

Overachieving could put the Niners in the playoffs, but that outcome is anything but a sure bet.

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