While the NFL season is still months away, the schedule for every 2020 games will be announced on Thursday. The league is trying to keep details under wraps so that they can reveal all the games at once. However, that not always possible because leaks trickle out throughout the day.
The Las Vegas Raiders are about to break ground as the first NFL team to play a game in Sin City. There’s a lot of interest surrounding the team’s move. Though Allegiant Stadium hasn’t finished completion just yet, they have not pushed back the projected July 31st opening date. If that holds, then the Raiders shouldn’t have any worry about being able to host games from Week 1 of the season. That said, based on recent leaks, it looks like the team might wait until Week 2 to show off their new home.
Latest Leaks Show NFC South Opponents Early
According to Jeff Duncan, the Raiders will be welcoming the New Orleans Saints for the first game at Allegiant Stadium during Monday Night Football. Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal confirmed the report and said September 21 will be the date of the matchup. It’s hard to imagine a more exciting matchup for the Las Vegas opener. Drew Brees leads one of the most dynamic offenses in the NFL and the Saints should be one of the best teams. The Raiders aren’t at the level that they are yet, but putting on a good show during the first game in Las Vegas is a must.
Before that matchup, the Raiders could be playing the Panthers in Carolina for the first game of the season, according to Vic Tafur. The Panthers added some really good talent this offseason and should be much improved over last year. They’ll be a good test for the Raiders to take in Week 1. The two teams should be at similar skill levels. Starting the season with a win versus a solid team would be huge for a young team. Jon Gruden put together really good game plans for Week 1 games in 2018 and 2019. He should be able to do it again.
ESPN’s John Clayton reported on Wednesday that the NFL’s first four games of the season will be NFC versus AFC teams. While that might not be entirely true for every team, it’s looking like that might be the case for the Raiders as leaks have indicated that their first two games are against NFC South teams. That means that Week 3 and 4 could be against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons.
If that is the case, that means six of the Raiders’ last 12 games will be against AFC West teams. Not much is known about when exactly they’ll start playing those games, but Vic Lombardi is hinting that the team will be hosting the Denver Broncos on November 15.
It remains to be seen if that will be the first AFC West game the Raiders will play in 2020.
Here’s a breakdown of what the schedule should look like so far (will be updated as more information is revealed):
Week 1: @ Carolina Panthers
Week 2: vs. New Orleans Saints
Week 10: vs. Denver Broncos
Week 17: @ Denver Broncos
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Raiders’ 2020 Opponents
For those who don’t know, Thursday will just give fans a list of dates that they will play teams. However, the team revealed their list of opponents months ago.