The Raiders will have to wait until Week 2 to play a game in Las Vegas as they will open the season in Los Angeles against the Chargers. Last year, the team got to open the season at Allegiant Stadium against the Baltimore Ravens during Monday Night Football. This year, the season will be opened on the road in the afternoon.
The Raiders won’t have to wait long until the home opener, though. The team announced that they’ll be facing the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2 of the 2022 season.
The game against the Cardinals will the first of four matchups the Raiders have against NFC West teams. Notably, the Raiders added Chandler Jones during free agency, who spent six years in Arizona. This will be his first chance at a revenge game against his former team. Many players like to put their former teams on notice during schedule release season but Jones wasn’t falling for the bait. He made it known that he was keeping his “mouth closed” about the eventual matchup.
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Jones Considered Staying With Cardinals
Jones is without a doubt one of the greatest Cardinals of all time. He’s their all-time leading sack leader with 71.5 in just six seasons. Leaving Arizona was a tough call for Jones and he did consider staying put.
“A lot went into it honestly,” Jones told Jordan Schultz. “We spoke with the Jets and Bills – others too – and I obviously thought a lot about staying with the Cardinals.”
However, the allure of playing for the Raiders and defensive end Maxx Crosby was too strong for him to pass up.
“I thought, ‘okay, here’s an opportunity to play with a young superstar in Maxx Crosby,’” he told Schultz. “I thought that would be really special. He’s a transcendent young player and I think pairing up with him would make it very difficult for teams to game plan us.”
It certainly made the decision easier when the Raiders offered him $17 million a season. Jones will always be a Cardinals legend but there’s no doubt he’ll be circling the Week 2 matchup against his former team on the calendar.
NFC West Posses Another Challenge for Raiders
The Raiders are members of the toughest division in the NFL, which is the AFC West. All four teams could feasibly make the playoffs in 2022. The only division in the NFC that comes close to how good the AFC West is would be the NFC West. Unfortunately for Las Vegas, they’ll have to be playing against the NFC West this season.
In addition to the Cardinals, the Raiders will be playing the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks. Three of those teams made the playoffs last season with the Rams winning the Super Bowl. The Raiders are used to having a tough schedule but they should be better prepared this season with the additions of Davante Adams and Jones. If they can make the playoffs despite the tough schedule, those no reason they can’t compete for a Super Bowl.