Raiders 2020 schedule: Game-by-game predictions for Weeks 1 to 17
Week 1 at Carolina Panthers
What Panther besides Christian McCaffrey truly scares you? Raiders are the better team.
Add one sentence at the end: Raiders start the 2020 off with win.
Week 2 vs. New Orleans Saints (Monday Night Football)
The NFL does the Raiders no favors in their Allegiant Stadium debut. One of the NFL’s elite teams comes to Las Vegas at a point so early in the season that they should be at or nearly at full strength.
Not sure the Silver and Black have an answer for Michael Thomas. It’s a tough break the league couldn’t have given the Raiders a layup in their home opener.
Week 3 at New England Patriots
The Patriots might be down without Tom Brady, but they’re never out. That defense is still darn good, and that’s a long way to travel to battle in a tough place to play.
Week 4 vs. Buffalo Bills
The Bills are a tough team ready to overtake New England atop the AFC East, but Josh Allen can be had. We’re saying the Raiders play some disciplined defense and squeak out the team’s first home win at Allegiant Stadium.
Week 5 at Kansas City Chiefs
Arrowhead will continue to be the Raiders’ house of horrors until they (and quarterback Derek Carr) prove otherwise.
Week 6: BYE
Doesn’t the bye week always come at the right time? Even if it doesn’t, players and coaches are bound to say it will.
Week 7 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sunday Night Football)
The Raiders flirted some with Tom Brady this offseason but were never going to land him. Now they’ll see him in primetime, with Gronk, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin on his side for what should be a highly anticipated showdown.
You think they’ll show replays of the Tuck Rule game in a nationally televised game? That’s salt in the wound. So will be the ‘L’ Brady hands out.
Week 8 at Cleveland Browns
Are the Browns a sleeping giant about to wake up? They look tough on paper, but nowhere else.
Week 9 at L.A. Chargers
The Bolts drowned in a sea of silver and black at a soccer stadium. Imagine how many fans of L.A.’s most popular team will show up in a venue four times that size. It’ll be a true blackout at SoFi Stadium.
Week 10 vs. Denver Broncos
The Broncos have a lot more firepower than they did a year ago. So to the Raiders. This might be an old-school AFC West shootout. Here’s saying the Silver and Black come out on top.
Week 11 vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday Night Football)
So much offseason talk is about whether the Raiders are catching up to the rival Chiefs. That answer yes, they are a better matchup. But they aren’t at K.C.’s level yet.
Week 12 at Atlanta Falcons
The Dirty Birds don’t intimidate like they used to. Quadruple-team Julio Jones, don’t turn the ball over and the Raiders will be fine.
Week 13 at N.Y. Jets
The Raiders were the superior team heading into MetLife last year and got pummeled. The Jets are an increasingly tougher out.
Week 14 vs. Indianapolis Colts
Philip Rivers caused the Raiders fits for years when he led the Chargers, but not last year. Maxx Crosby and Maliek Collins should be able to force some costly mistakes that put the Raiders on top.
Week 15 vs. L.A. Chargers (Thursday Night Football)
The Bolts are breaking in a rookie quarterback in Justin Herbert or a so-so one in Tyrod Taylor. Neither should scare the Silver and Black.
Week 16 vs. Miami Dolphins
The Raiders went after Byron Jones hard this offseason. He took Miami’s money in a productive offseason for the ‘Phins. Miami still has a year or two to go. They aren’t ready to take a win from the Raiders new home.
But…if Tua’s starting and awakens Hawai’i’s ‘ninth island,’ the Dolphins could have some vocal support.
Week 17 at Denver Broncos
The Raiders have lost four straight playing a mile high. Tough to expect that trend to change against a seemingly improved Broncos club with Von Miller and Bradley Chubb bringing heat off the edge.
Raiders' Final Record: 9-7
The Raiders end the season strong to finish with their first winning record since 2016, likely good enough for a playoff spot in the AFC -- especially now that a seventh team will be admitted into the postseason field.
A 9-7 record and a playoff performance would be quite the feat for the Raiders in their inaugural Las Vegas season.