The Las Vegas Raiders‘ 2021 schedule is going to feature a number of notable matchups. Perhaps the most exciting will be the game against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1 during Monday Night Football. The game will likely represent the first time the Raiders will have fans at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
It’s also notable because it will be Yannick Ngakoue’s first shot at his former team since signing with the Raiders in the offseason. The veteran defensive end quickly reacted to the news that he’d be meeting the Ravens in his first game in the silver and black.
There’s doesn’t appear to be any bad blood between Ngakoue and the Ravens. He only played nine games for the team after getting traded by the Minnesota Vikings. Baltimore didn’t seem to give much effort in trying to retain the defensive end so maybe he’s a bit salty about that fact. Either way, it appears that he’s circled the game on his calendar.
ALL the latest Raiders news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Raiders newsletter here!
Showdown With Cowboys on Thanksgiving
The first game with fans at Allegiant Stadium will be very special for the Raiders. The team spent a ton of money building the impressive structure but hasn’t been able to take full advantage of it quite yet. However, there will be a number of exciting games for the Raiders. According to Eddie Borsilli, Las Vegas will be headed to Dallas to face the Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day.
This will be the first time the two teams have played since 2017. It will also be the first time that wide receiver Amari Cooper has played against the team that drafted him back in 2015. There’s definitely a bit of bad blood between Cooper and the Raiders so it will be a revenge game for him.
This matchup should be a ton of fun as the Raiders and Cowboys are both offensive heavy teams. The game could easily be a score fest. It will also represent the first time that defensive line coach Rod Marinelli will be coaching against Dallas since he was the defensive coordinator there.
Raiders Set to Have Difficult Schedule Once Again
Year after year, the Raiders are hit with one of the toughest schedules in the NFL. That’s what happens when you play in the same division as the back-to-back AFC champions. According to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Raiders are set to get hit with a brutal schedule once again.
This doesn’t come as a surprise as the NFL has never done the team any favors. However, the Raiders shouldn’t worry too much about their strength of schedule. Last year, the team went 2-6 at home, and when their schedule got “easier” towards the end of the season, they fell apart and missed the playoffs. The Raiders also struggled against bad teams. Las Vegas beat the Cleveland Browns, New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs, but lost to the Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Chargers and almost lost to the New York Jets. The Raiders can’t make excuses about the strength of schedule anymore. They just need to start winning more games.