Talk to any true Las Vegas Raiders fan, and chances are they’re still bitter about the 2019 schedule that the organization was handed. From Sept. 15 until Nov. 3, the Raiders didn’t play a true home game — and that was on top of a couple stretches against playoff teams that were borderline obscene.
And yet, what was amazing was that the Raiders actually found themselves in the playoff hunt almost to the bitter end — even opening the season at 6-4 before their lack of roster depth came back to bite them.
Fast-forward to Thursday and the Raiders 2020 schedule was released to what was nothing less than relief from fans. No London games. Four primetime games — all at home. Not to mention a close-to-the-season stretch that probably makes Jon Gruden giddy.
At the end of the day, it was a pretty normal schedule — and for that, Raider fans are grateful. Here’s the full schedule with some initial thoughts and reactions below…
Week 1: Las Vegas Raiders at Carolina Panthers
Week 2: New Orleans Saints at Las Vegas Raiders
Week 3: Las Vegas Raiders at New England Patriots
Week 4: Buffalo Bills at Las Vegas Raiders
Week 5: Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs
Week 6: BYE
Week 7: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Las Vegas Raiders
Week 8: Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns
Week 9: Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers
Week 10: Denver Broncos at Las Vegas Raiders
Week 11: Kansas City Chiefs at Las Vegas Raiders
Week 12: Las Vegas Raiders at Atlanta Falcons
Week 13: Las Vegas Raiders at New York Jets
Week 14: Indianapolis Colts at Las Vegas Raiders
Week 15: Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders
Week 16: Miami Dolphins at Las Vegas Raiders
Week 17: Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos
The most interesting thing I read about the schedule was…
The Raiders face, by far, the toughest schedule in the NFL weeks 1-11.
Then they face the second easiest from weeks 12-17. pic.twitter.com/CVBKYtPZhi
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) May 8, 2020
Sound familiar, Raider fans? Again, last year opened well — and if the Raiders can repeat that (or even come close), they could be in for a strong season. Other reactions…
- In a season that will feature an abbreviated training camp (at best), the Raiders luck out to be facing two brand new quarterback situations within the first three weeks (Carolina and New England)
- A Week 5 trip to Kansas City is also good news for the Raiders, as they’ll avoid a cold-weather game there for the first time in a while
- I always like to look at who a team gets coming off a bye week — getting the ancient Tom Brady at home off a bye is a nice set up
- Weeks 9-11 feature three-straight divisional games, and this might be the most critical stretch of the season (especially with two of the three coming at home)
- Weeks 12 and 13 feature the Raiders’ only two East Coast 10 a.m. PT starts of the season. The fact that they are back-to-back makes me think the Raiders may be envisioning staying out there in order to keep their bodies acclimated
- As far as the Derek Carr cold weather narrative goes, his only two chances to prove the doubters wrong might come on Dec. 6 in New York and Jan. 3 in Denver
- As I hinted at above, the biggest headline is FOUR, HOME, Primetime games: Monday Night against the Saints (Week 2), Sunday Night against the Bucs (Week 7), Sunday Night against the Chiefs (Week 11) and Thursday night against the Chargers (Week 15).
I’ll save my predictions for another day, but my first thought is that the line between 6-10 and 10-6 is an incredibly thin one. Vegas has the Raiders as underdogs in 13/16 games this season — but with six of those underdog lines resting beneath four points. I think the playoffs are within reason, but I’m also not betting the house on the Raiders finishing above .500 either.
The post Raiders 2020 Schedule Release: At Least It’s Better Than Last Year? appeared first on Raiders Newswire.