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Oakland Raiders Favored to be on 2019 Edition of “Hard Knocks”

Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden believes acquiring Antonio Brown was a big win for his team. Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire.
  • 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)
Oakland Raiders EVEN
Detroit Lions +175
Washington Redskins +300
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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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