Oakland Raiders: The 5 Games That Will Determine Oakland’s Fate in 2013

It's safe to say that 2013 is going to be an interesting year in Oakland.

With a whole slew of new faces—most of them younger and unproven—there aren't a whole lot of expectations this season. That said, there's a strange sense of hope and excitement hovering over the team thus far.

So as we look to the 2013 schedule, a few games jump off for a number of reasons—some are must-wins, some are statement games and some are simply confidence boosters.

These aren't necessarily the most important games of the season and they aren't necessarily the easiest, but they are the five that will dictate how the 2013 season is perceived looking backwards.

Week 1: Oakland at Indianapolis

For every team, Week 1 is important.

For Oakland, however, it's going to be more of a feeling-out process than anything else.

What's nice for Oakland is that going on the road to Indianapolis is a sneaky game in which Oakland could actually compete.

With Andrew Luck under center coming off a trip to the playoffs, Indy will be a heavy favorite at home.

The Raiders, however, will have their first chance at proving themselves to be better than last season—especially in the secondary.

If Oakland can keep the game close and make this more interesting than people think, this becomes a major confidence booster moving forward.

If the Raiders get smoked, well, lets just say it's going to be a long season.

Week 5: San Diego at Oakland

Any time the dreaded Chargers come to town, the stakes are raised—but under these circumstances, the stakes should be even higher.

After games against the Colts, Jaguars, Broncos and Redskins, the Raiders will be badly in need of a victory—especially within the division.

While San Diego finally rid itself of Norv Turner, it still isn't an outstanding te...

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