After much fanfare and a number of leaks, the 2020 schedule for the Las Vegas Raiders has finally been revealed. The team is making a big move to a new city this season, but won’t be opening the season in Allegiant Stadium. Last year, the team had one of the most brutal schedules in recent memory. However, this year things are looking much better.
Here’s the rundown of the entire 2020 schedule:
Preseason Game 1 (TBD): @ Seattle Seahawks
Preseason Game 2 (TBD): @San Francisco 49ers
Preseason Game 3 (TBD): vs. Arizona Cardinals
Preseason Game 4 (TBD): vs. Los Angeles Rams
Week 1 (9/13): @ Carolina Panthers
Week 2 (9/21): vs. New Orleans Saints (Monday Night Football)
Week 3 (9/27): @ New England Patriots
Week 4 (10/4): vs. Buffalo Bills
Week 5 (10/11): @ Kansas City Chiefs
Week 6: Bye Week
Week 7 (10/25): vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sunday Night Football)
Week 8 (11/1): @ Cleveland Browns
Week 9 (11/8): @ Los Angeles Chargers
Week 10 (11/15): vs. Denver Broncos
Week 11 (11/22): vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday Night Football)
Week 12 (11/29: @ Atlanta Falcons
Week 13 (12/6): @ New York Jets
Week 14 (12/13): vs. Indianapolis Colts
Week 15 (12/17): vs. Los Angeles Chargers (Thursday Night Football)
Week 16 (TBD): vs. Miami Dolphins
Week 17 (1/3): @ Denver Broncos
Below we’re going to go through the biggest matchups the team has this season.
1. Saints on Monday Night Football
Though the Raiders will have to wait until Week 2 to play in their new city, they’ll be opening Allegiant on Monday Night Football against Drew Brees and the Saints. New Orleans figures to be one of the best teams in the NFL once again, so Las Vegas will have a tough fight on their hands.
The Raiders haven’t played the Saints since the first game of the 2016 season. That was also the year that the silver and black was last in the playoffs. A win won’t come easy, but if they pull it off for the first game in Las Vegas during primetime, that will be a huge statement early in the season.
2. Last Game of Season vs. Broncos
If 2020 resembles 2019 in any way, then the Raiders’ might still be playing games that matter in Week 17. Last year, they came up short against the Broncos when they needed a win to stay in the playoff race. They wouldn’t have made it either way in the end, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if they were in a similar must-win situation this upcoming season.
They’ll have a chance to get revenge against one of their archrivals to close out the season. Denver in January is cold and we all know how Derek Carr struggles in those types of games. Hopefully, he’ll be able to change the narrative about him with a big game on the road to close the season.
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3. Raiders Host Tom Brady on Primetime
This offseason, there were months of speculation that Tom Brady could sign with the Raiders. That didn’t end up happening as he eventually struck a deal with the Buccaneers. It was reported that he was interested in playing Las Vegas, but the feeling wasn’t all that mutual. Well, Brady will still have a chance to play in Sin City during Sunday Night Football.
This game will be big because there will be a lot of eyes watching to see Brady playing against the team that was rumored to sign him. A win for Carr here would solidify the fact that the Raiders made the right choice by sticking with him over the future Hall of Famer.
4. Thursday Night Football vs. Chargers
The Raiders will be playing four primetime games this season for the first time in franchise history and all of them will be at home. The last one will come against the Chargers towards the back half of the season. Divisional games are going to be very important that late in the year and a big win against a rival at home could make a difference.
5. Both Chiefs Games
If the Raiders want to ever have a chance to win the AFC West again, they need to beat the Chiefs. That’s not an easy task for any team as Kansas City’s high-powered offense is probably hardest to stop in the NFL. The Raiders did a lot to upgrade their defense in the offseason but still have major question marks at both cornerback spots.
Regardless, there’s no stopping the Chiefs offense. If the Raiders want to win, they’re going to have to score a lot of points. With the addition of Henry Ruggs, they should be able to field a more dynamic offense. Playing the Chiefs is the ultimate test for any AFC West team. The Raiders would prove that they’ve taken the next step if they can at least beat them once.