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2014 NFL schedule: Raiders travel most miles, Steelers fewest

By John Breech | CBSSports.com

The 2014 Raiders will travel more than the Steelers, Browns, Bengals and Titans combined.
The Raiders will travel more than the Steelers, Browns, Bengals and Titans combined.

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If you see an airplane flying over your head this fall, there's probably a good chance the Raiders will be on it. They're flying everywhere this year. During the 2014 regular season, Oakland will travel a league-high 36,106 miles.

Not only is that almost 10,000 miles more than the next-closest team will travel, but it's only 492 miles less than the Steelers, Browns, Titans, Bengals and Panthers will travel combined.

The Raiders can partially thank their Week 4 trip to London for the high mileage. If you've looked at a map recently, you probably noticed that Oakland and London are nowhere near each other. A one-way flight between Oakland and London covers about 5,365 miles, which is almost more than the Steelers will travel during the entire 2014 season (5,896).

Of the five teams doing the most traveling in the NFL this year, four of them are teams that will play in London in 2014. The only team not playing in London that cracked the top five for travel distance is the Seahawks, who will travel 26,144 miles. That's the second-farthest distance that any team will travel in 2014, trailing only the Raiders.

So does flying 36,000 miles a season affect how a team plays, or are bad teams just bad, and good teams just good?

Travel distance didn't seem to have too much effect on San Francisco in 2013. Despite traveling the most miles of any team last year, the 49ers still managed to reach the NFC title game. The five teams that traveled the farthest in 2013 -- the 49ers, Chargers, Raiders, Seahawks and Cardinals -- combined to finish with a 48-32 record.

The five teams that traveled the fewest miles last season -- the Lions, Bears, Packers, Browns and Jets -- combined to finish 35-44-1.

However, the numbers are slightly different for 2012. The five teams that traveled the most that year combined to go 40-38-2, while the five teams that traveled the least combined to go 49-31.

Total distance traveled may not have a huge bearing on how a team does, but the length of each individual road trip does seem to have some effect.

From 1997 to 2011, teams that traveled 2,000 miles or more for a road trip only won 39.8 percent of their games, according to Grantland.com. The winning percentage jumped up to 40.3 percent for road trips that were 1,000-1,999 miles long. Teams that traveled 999 miles or less to a road game won 43 percent of the time.

None of this is good news for the Raiders, who will travel 2,000 or more miles to four of their games this year. As if things aren't already tough enough for the Oakland, it also has the most difficult strength of schedule heading into the 2014 season. There is some good news for the Raiders though -- wait, no there's not.

2014 NFL travel miles (Road games where team travels over 2,000 miles)

1. Raiders: 36,106 miles (4 -- including London)
2. Seahawks: 26,144 (3)
3. Cowboys: 24,746 (1 -- including London)
4. Dolphins: 24,546 (1 -- including London)
5. Jaguars: 22,230 (2 -- including London)
6. Chargers: 20,186 (3)
7. 49ers: 19,932 (1)
8. Rams: 17,850 (0)
9. Cardinals: 17,728 (1)
10. Chiefs: 17,658 (0)
11. Eagles: 17,572 (2)
12. Falcons: 17,320 (1 -- including London)
13. Redskins: 17,268 (2)
14. Broncos: 17,258 (0)
15. Patriots: 16,722 (1)
16. Lions: 16,242 (1 -- including London)
17. Texans: 15,848 (0)
18. Jets: 15,130 (1)
19. Bills: 14,932 (1)
20. Giants: 14,016 (1)
21. Packers: 12,812 (0)
22. Vikings: 12,460 (0)
23. Buccaneers: 12,082 (0)
24. Saints: 11,268 (0)
25. Ravens: 10,976 (0)
26. Bears: 10,704 (0)
27. Colts: 9,664 (0)
28. Panthers: 8,438 (0)
29. Bengals: 8,222 (0)
30. Titans: 7,958 (0)
31. Browns: 6,084 (0)
32. Steelers: 5,896 (0)

(Travel miles from Pro Football Reference)

For you visual people out there, we put together the handy chart below to give you an idea of how NFL teams stack up to one another in terms of 2014 distance traveled.

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