Raiders

Raiders Biggest 2020 Game Awaits at Arrowhead

Every single game counts in the NFL. Nevertheless there are some that are more meaningful and/or crucial than others. Las Vegas Raiders will have some of those, but there’s one that stands out among others.

Losing a game early in the NFL season can come back to haunt a team when it’s time to qualify to the playoffs. In the same manner, matchups against division rivals constantly have high stakes. It won’t be any different for the Raiders in 2020. They need to hoard as many victories as they can against AFC West teams. That’s where the Kansas City Chiefs come up.

Meaningful but not Quite as Important

In a recent state-of-the-franchise article, NFL Media writer Adam Rank discusses what he thinks are the Raiders most important games in 2020. Two of them will have them face a couple of NFC South squads, the New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The other one will be against a division foe, the Denver Broncos.

Regarding the Saints in Week 2, Rank says, “This is a pretty tough opening stretch for the Raiders. The Week 1 game at Carolina is no gimme. Then they host the Saints to open Allegiant Stadium before traveling to New England and then returning home for Buffalo. After that, it’s back on the road in Kansas City.”

Later, he signals the Raiders outing against the Buccaneers as a revenge game. “How many layers of revenge game is this for Gruden? He’s facing the team that fired him. He’s also playing against Tom Brady, who helped clear the way for his departure from Oakland in the first place with his play in the Tuck Rule game. And to those who thought Brady would play for Gruden, how did you think that relationship was going to work out?”

Finally, Rank discusses the importance of winning the division when talking about the game against the Broncos. “The AFC West is going to be really tough this season. Every single game against a division rival will be key.”

Again, every game is important, but those three pale in comparison to the Raiders Week encounter with the Chiefs in Week 5.

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The Raiders 2020 Signature Win

The Raiders haven’t beaten the Chiefs since October, 2017. Moreover, they have lost 10 of their last 12 games. Last season, Kansas City only needed two quarters to put them out in their Week 2 matchup. The Raiders finished 7-9 in 2019, but none of those seven teams they defeated were playoff-bound. Meanwhile, the Chiefs won the Super Bowl and should have no problems advancing deep into the postseason this year.

If the Raiders can beat the Chiefs in Week 5, their chances to qualify for the playoffs will be boosted. Besides the fact they will have earned a division win, they can set the tone for the rest of the season. After all, if they can beat the defending champions, they can take on anyone. It won’t come easy, but the rewards had better incentivize them.

Furthermore, quarterback Derek Carr has beaten the Chiefs just twice in his six-year career and never while at Arrowhead Stadium. If he can lead the Raiders to a victory, he can finally put to rest the notion he isn’t a franchise quarterback.

The Super Bowl will run through the Chiefs, and the Raiders’ Week 5 matchup against them will determine whether they have taken a step up or not.

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Top Picture: Denny Medley/USA Sports Today

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