- Each training camp, HBO features one NFL team on Hard Knocks.
- Lions head coach Matt Patricia said the Raiders would be the perfect team for 2019.
- Are the Raiders the best bet for Hard Knocks? Are the other four contenders worth betting?
Admit it. Even if you’re a hardcore fan, there’s one thing you look forward to during NFL training camps: Hard Knocks.
It’s the only enjoyable thing about that time of the year. And it always seems to unearth some hidden gems from the NFL world.
Earlier this week, Matt Patricia started up the “who’s going to be on Hard Knocks?” conversation. In his words, why not Oakland?
Now they’re the favorite. Could it honestly be any other way?
Which NFL Team Will Be Featured on Hard Knocks in 2019?
|Which Team Will Be on Hard Knocks in 2019?||Odds at Bovada (02/13/19)|
|San Francisco 49ers||+600|
|New York Giants||+600|
Oakland is the favorite at even odds. Despite Patricia’s disdain for HBO, his Lions are second.
Without the benefit of free agency or the draft, it’s impossible to know who the winner will be.
Very realistic possibility Lions could be the Hard Knocks team this summer. They are 1 of only 5 teams who don't have the right to refuse to be on show: Lions, Giants, Redskins, Raiders, 49ers.
— Mike Sullivan (@MikeSullivan) February 11, 2019
Let’s sort through the case for each.
Lions, Redskins Don’t Make Hard Knocks Cut
Patricia can rest easy. His Lions, and likely the Redskins, are safe from the Hard Knocks cameras.
Neither team really offers any personality or appeal. If Ndamukong Suh or Albert Haynesworth were there? Sure. They’re interesting characters. If Adrian Peterson and Calvin Johnson were active and in their primes, that’s reason to watch too.
Matt Patricia was asked if he wants the Lions on Hard Knocks.
He said Jon Gruden would be great for the show. pic.twitter.com/YxhLsoV4cg
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) February 12, 2019
But we’ll likely get stuck with “Matt Patricia is late to meetings and doesn’t shave.”
And while the Redskins have to navigate the Alex Smith situation, it would cast a somber note over the show.
49ers Offer Intrigue for Hard Knocks
The second prettiest quarterback this side of Tom Brady is coming off of a torn ACL. After their hopes and dreams were dashed, can San Fran recapture the magic?
And will Antonio Brown actually become best friends with George Kittle?
— Alex Tran (@NinerAlex) February 1, 2019
These are all the questions that could get answered if the 49ers headlined Hard Knocks. They are an interesting team on the rise. Boring.
Giants, Raiders Highlight Hard Knocks Hopefuls
When you get past those three though, it’s obvious. Hard Knocks should either feature the Giants or the Raiders.
With the Giants, we’ll get Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley. There’s fun to be had.
Poll: the chances of the Giants being on Hard Knocks is very high. They meet all the requirements to be on the show and the views they could draw with Odell Beckham Jr and Saqoun Barkley. So I ask, would you want the Giants on Hard Knocks?
— Giants Nation (@GiantsNationNYC) December 19, 2018
We’ll also get to digest the “Eli Manning vs his heir” situation, as the Giants likely add a young QB.
But they still don’t stack up to the Raiders. I mean…IT’S. THE. RAIDERS.
Colin Cowherd just made a case for the #Raiders being hands-down the best option for HBO’s Hard Knocks. The Raiders are 1 of 5 possible teams that may have to do this show. 🏴☠️ #LVRaidersLounge #RaiderNation pic.twitter.com/POSzViZvWx
— The Las Vegas Raiders Lounge (@LVRaidersTalk) February 12, 2019
Barring a trade, there’s the awkward quarterback room with Derek Carr and Jon Gruden.
And if he does trade him? Maybe it’s Gruden and Kyler Murray. A team and a QB that spurned Oakland.
I'll double down on my Kyler Murray prediction: He goes top of first round to the Raiders, who either take him early or move up with their late first-rounders to get him. They trade Derek Carr around draft time.
— Jason Smith (@howaboutafresca) February 12, 2019
If it isn’t Murray, you’ve got Oakland’s three first round picks acclimating to the NFL. We’ll get to listen to Mike Mayock describe their high motors . And how they check every box. Or their bubble butts.
"Look at him drop that big butt. You're looking for that bubble butt." Mayock not afraid to go there!
— Ty Schalter (@tyschalter) March 3, 2017
Or how he inexplicably trades one of those firsts to Bill Belichick for a 7th rounder in 2022.
They also have nowhere to play right now. I mean…surely that gets sorted out before training camp. Right?
Raiders Seem Like Obvious Hard Knocks Choice
They offer the best content of all five teams. There’s just too much to turn down. They just won’t win you money, so it’s probably not worth it.
And honestly, Jon Gruden and Mark Davis side-by-side getting hair cuts could easily go as viral as Bob Wylie.
Lots could change between now and the announcement in May, but barring a monumental shift, Hard Knocks should head to Oakland in 2019.
Or… wherever the Raiders are.