Finally, the NFL released its 2022 schedule yesterday. In a year where the Las Vegas Raiders are looking to make a statement, the fanbase was itching to see who they were going to play. After a season where they finished 10-7 and made the playoffs, Las Vegas is in line for a difficult schedule. Regardless, these three home games will be crucial for a return trip to the playoffs.
Las Vegas won’t have an easy road in 2022
Week 2: Raiders vs Cardinals
While Week 1 in Los Angeles may feel like the home opener for the Raiders, their first true home game will come against the Arizona Cardinals the following week. As a playoff team in 2021, Arizona would lose to the eventual Super Bowl champion Rams in the first round. However, they are still a team that is planning on winning now.
The Raiders, like every team, want to win all of their home games. In order to win their first one, they will have to keep electrifying quarterback Kyler Murray under wraps. Although he has his deficiencies as a player, he can still take over a game if you let him. Fortunately for Las Vegas, the Cardinals’ star wide receiver, De’Andre Hopkins, will not be playing due to suspension. In a game that could be an offensive shootout otherwise, his absence might be the difference.
See you at home ☠️ pic.twitter.com/mabwGYQtO2
— Allegiant Stadium (@AllegiantStadm) May 13, 2022
Week 15: Raiders vs Patriots
The Raiders’ only game on Sunday Night Football in 2022 will come against the New England Patriots. With Tom Brady gone, New England is no longer the team that dominated for the last twenty years. Regardless, they were still a playoff team last season with a rookie quarterback under center. Of course, they also have the greatest head coach in NFL history.
At this point of the season, both teams hope to be firmly in the playoff race. Both teams have Super Bowl favorites in their division with the Chiefs and Bills, so this one may factor heavily into the Wildcard race. As mentioned, the Patriots are not the team they once were. However, expect head coach Josh McDaniels to pull out all the stops in order to beat his former team.
Week 18: Raiders vs Chiefs
If everything goes according to plan for the Raiders in 2022, this could be one of the biggest games the Raiders have ever played in. Both Las Vegas and Kansas City expect to make the playoffs and hope to do so by winning the division. For the Chiefs, winning the division has become a regular occurrence. The Raiders, however, have not done so since 2002.
The Raiders now have the firepower to go toe-to-toe with the Chiefs in a game that should have severe playoff implications for both teams. After watching Mahomes and co. dismantle their team twice in 2021, Raider Nation would love nothing more than to finish 2022 by beating them in Las Vegas. If playoff implications are in play at this point, expect this game to get flexed into primetime.
*Top Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images