Raiders

Raiders 2020 Schedule: Sin City Ready For Prime-Time

Every year, Las Vegas Raiders fans complain about how the scheduling gurus have it in for their team. Although some things stayed the same, the calendar is pretty favorable and gives them four games on primetime. All at home too, which is a first for the franchise.

Let’s take a look at the team’s 2020 matchups and get some predictions done:

Week 1: @ Carolina Panthers – Gruden starts in the Rhule era

The last time these two met was in 2016 when the team defended their home turf and walked away with a victory in a 35-32 showdown. With the Panthers starting fresh and the Raiders on the rise, I expect this to be a close one but not high scoring. This is Tahir Whitehead’s revenge game, so he may be fired up, but it is still Jon Gruden vs Matt Rhule. Give me Gruden. Raiders will start off with a bang and be 1-0 for the second straight year.

Prediction: Raiders 21 – Panthers 17

Week 2: New Orleans Saints – Peyton’s revenge?

The last time these teams met was also in 2016. Las Vegas pulled it off with a two-point conversion at the end in a nail-biter. Can they do it again? It is the Raider’s inaugural game on Monday Night Football. They will pull off a nail-biter again and coast to 2-0.

Prediction: Raiders 34 – Saints 31

Week 3: @ New England Patriots – Gruden’s revenge?

The last time these teams met was in 2017, and the Silver and Black were dominated in their own home 33-8. This is Gruden’s chance to get payback for the “tuck rule”, will he get it? Bill Belichick is still running things in New England so I don’t expect that much of a drop-off. Patriots win at home in a close one, Raiders fall to 2-1.

Prediction: Patriots 17 – Raiders 10

Week 4: Buffalo Bills – The tumble continues

The last time these two met was in 2017, when the Raiders invaded Buffalo and were stomped on for their efforts, losing 34-14. This time they are at home, but these Bills are a tougher team so I expect the same fate and by this time, Raider Nation’s heads will be spinning. The Silver and Black drops to 2-2 after this one.

Prediction: Bills 30 – Raiders 17

Week 5: @ Kansas City Chiefs – Warmer weather, same results

First division game, the Raiders haven’t won in Arrowhead since 2012, and although I feel they should be able to keep the game close, I don’t think this is the year they end that streak. Raiders drop to 2-3.

Prediction: Chiefs 34 – Raiders 27

Week 6: Bye Week

Related: Derek Carr Will Get Chance To Win at Arrowhead

Week 7: Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Gruden’s revenge V.2?

These teams met in 2016, and the Raiders won a close one in Tampa Bay, walking out of overtime 30-24. This time around, I expect another close one, but Tom Brady will lead the final drive to flip it back dropping Raiders to 2-4 in primetime on Sunday Night Football.

Prediction: Buccaneers 30 – Raiders 24

Week 8: @ Cleveland Browns – Dawg pound gets the team back in the groove

The Raiders won a close one in overtime 45-42 in Oakland in 2018. I expect a similar fate here, although not that high of a game. Vegas stops the losing streak and get to 3-4.

Prediction: Raiders 24 – Browns 20

Week 9: @ Los Angeles Chargers – Home away from home

Second division game in the books, and it’s their home away from home. The Chargers are rebuilding and it will be tough to overcome a Raiders filled stadium in their home field that is not really theirs. Las Vegas swept the Chargers in 2019. Spoiler alert, it can happen two years in a row starting here. The Raiders get back to .500.

Prediction: Raiders 24 – Chargers 10

Week 10: Denver Broncos – Familiar Faces

This rounds out the first slate of games against division rivals. It’s also DeAndre Washington and Devontae Booker playing against each other’s former teams. This will be a big fight that Las Vegas should pull out of with the “W”, cruising to 5-4 on the way.

Prediction: Raiders 30 – Broncos 24

Week 11: Kansas City Chiefs – Primetime Rivalry

I see a split coming this season, the Raiders have put the fight to Chiefs on numerous occasions but a couple slips have allowed Kansas City to turn on afterburners. This time, the tables turn and Las Vegas defends their home turf on Sunday Night Football moving to 6-4.

Prediction: Raiders 27 – Chiefs 24

Week 12: @ Atlanta Falcons – Time zone trickery plus jet lag = disaster

The last time these two met was in 2016 and Las Vegas lost a close one at home, falling 35-28. They haven’t won in Atlanta since 1997, and this is only their third game there since. Nevertheless, a streak is a streak and I expect it to continue. The Raiders fall to 6-5.

Prediction: Falcons 27 – Raiders 14

Week 13: @ New York Jets – Revenge game?

Last season, the Raiders were rolling pretty good until they walked into New York and got knocked around 34-3. They haven’t beat the Jets at home since 1996. This will be the seventh trip there in that time frame, but I expect a similar fate dropping the Raiders to 6-6.

Prediction: Jets 27 – Raiders 17

Week 14: Indianapolis Colts – Back home, back on track

These two played last season and the Raiders pulled off a close one in Indianapolis, winning 31-24. The Colts will look for payback, but Las Vegas upset them again to get back on track moving to 7-6.

Prediction: Raiders 24 – Colts 21

Week 15: Los Angeles Chargers – Primetime sweep

The Raiders host the Chargers on their last prime-time game on Thursday Night Football, and continue their sweep.

Prediction: Raiders 27 – Chargers 24

Week 16: Miami Dolphins – Road to Playoffs

In 2018, the Dolphins won a close one 28-20. That was in Miami, I expect Raiders to defend their home here in a similar contest, etching closer to playoffs at 9-6.

Prediction: Raiders 27 – Dolphins 21

Week 17: @ Denver Broncos – Mile High meltdown?

Here we are again, a chance at playoffs and the Broncos could stand in the way. Mile High in late December, early January is not good. These two could be fighting for a wild card, or even the division at this point. It could also be meaningless and one of them may already be locked in or out. Either way, I think Denver paybacks Raiders two years in a row, splitting the season. Raiders finish 9-7

Prediction: Broncos 23 – Raiders 17

Final Thoughts

Raiders finishing 9-7 and hopefully still making playoffs would be great. Raiders finishing 9-7 and just missing playoffs is still a step in the right direction. Whether these predictions are accurate or not, I still expect an 8-8 season at the least, but they could surprise and put up double-digit wins.

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Top Photo: Seth Wenig/Associated Press

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