Contrary to popular belief, the NFL schedule is not some collusion to ensure your favorite team gets screwed every year. It is actually based on a simple formula that can help us get a good idea which teams the Raiders will be hosting in their inaugural season in Vegas.
Here’s how it works:
- The Raiders will play a home and home against every team in the AFC West division (3 home games)
- The Raiders will play 4 games against one AFC Division which is rotated every year. For example, the Raiders will play all four teams in the AFC North every 3 years. (2 home games)
- The Raiders will play 4 games against one NFC Division which is rotated every year. For example, the Raiders will play all four teams in the NFC South every 4 years. (2 home games)
- The Raiders will play 2 games against AFC teams that finish in the same place in their division. So if the Raiders finish 1st in the AFC West, they will play the top team in the AFC South and AFC West (if they play every AFC North team that year). This is the one variable that we won’t know until the season is over. (1 home game)
Based on the NFL formula, we expect the following home games in Las Vegas in 2020:
3 Home Games Against the Rest of the AFC West
- Chiefs @ Raiders
- Broncos @ Raiders
- Chargers @ Raiders
This is the easy one to figure out. The Raiders will always play the Chiefs, Broncos, and Chargers at Raiders Stadium. Based on NFL scheduling, one of these games will always be at the end of the year. I would not be surprised if at least one of these rivalry games is a primetime Monday Night Football or Thursday Night Football game.
2 Home Games Against the AFC East
- Dolphins @ Raiders
- Bills @ Raiders
- Away @ Patriots
- Away @Dolphins
In 2017, the Raiders played the AFC East. This should mean that the AFC East will be the AFC rotational team in 2020. Because the Dolphins and Jets played in Oakland, the Patriots and Bills should be the opponents at home in 2020.
Marquee matchups? Well, there’s a couple of home win possibilities here with the Dolphins and Bills but that’s about it. The Raiders fans will miss out on Brady’s career winding down, as this very well could be his final year and the Raiders “hosted” the Patriots in Mexico City in 2017 (shout out to Paul for catching this).
2 Home Games Against NFC South
- Saints @ Raiders
- Buccaneers @ Raiders
- Away @ Falcons
- Away @ Panthers
In 2017, the Raiders played the NFC South. This should mean that the NFC South will be the NFC rotational team in 2020. Because the Falcons and Panthers played in Oakland, the Saints and Buccaneers should be the opponents at home in 2020.
Marquee matchup include likely the final time seeing Drew Brees in person in Vegas. This would mean that the Raiders will likely see two hall of fame quarterbacks for the last time in 2020.
1 Home Game Against AFC South or AFC North
The Raiders will play the team with the same place in the standings from the AFC East and North, one away and one home. This will not be decided until after the 2019 season, as it is based on the standings.
This will mean that one of the following teams will play in Oakland in 2020.
- AFC South (Colts Texans Titans Jaguars)
- AFC North (Steelers, Ravens, Bangles, Browns)
Keep Up-to-Date with the Raiders Move to Las Vegas
Which games are you looking forward to in Vegas? Do you have season tickets? Will you head to a single game or two in 2020? Tell us in the comments below.