The Las Vegas Raiders' 2020 schedule is official and as if there wasn't enough excitement about the team's new stadium in the Entertainment Capital of the World already, the dates for next season's matchups just kicked it up a notch.
From top to bottom, the Silver and Black have a balanced schedule for the most part — unlike last year when the team was forced to play on the road for six weeks. Every game at Allegiant Stadium should be special next season, and for the foreseeable future; however, here's one reason why every game in 2020 should be on your watch list.
Week 1 - at Carolina Panthers
The Panthers have a new head coach in Matt Rhule and starting quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater, but don't forget about Christian McCaffrey. The Raiders revamped defense will be the first team to challenge the Panthers' new offense.
Week 2 - New Orleans Saints
First game in Las Vegas. First game at Allegiant Stadium. Monday Night Football. Need I say more?
Week 3 - at New England Patriots
Any time the Raiders can try to defeat Bill Belichick on his home turf I'm all for it. Without Tom Brady, it'll be interesting to see the new-look Patriots.
Week 4 - Buffalo Bills
The Bills were a playoff team in 2019 and they got better this offseason by adding Stefon Diggs to their receiving corps; whether it's Trayvon Mullen in coverage or rookie Damon Arnette, I'm eager to see the young bucks rise to the occasion.
Week 5 - at Kansas City Chiefs
It's the Raiders' first divisional matchup of the season and they're going to enter Arrowhead Stadium to try and take down the reigning Super Bowl champions. The Silver and Black have struggled against Andy Reid and Co., for a few years now, but a win against the Chiefs early in the season would do a lot for the team's confidence.
Week 7 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Raiders will face a lot of teams that received makeovers in 2020, but no one received a bigger facelift than the Bucs. This offseason they added Tom Brady and lured Rob Gronkowski out of retirement to join Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. The Raiders defense may have their hands full on Sunday Night Football, but they'll be up to the task.
Week 8 - at Cleveland Browns
Last year, the Browns were 30th in the NFL against the run, allowing 144.7 yards per game on the ground. I smell an opportunity for Josh Jacobs to go off.
Week 9 - at Los Angeles Chargers
I'm not sure I'll ever get used to seeing Philip Rivers in another uniform, and I especially wish Justin Herbert wasn't drafted by the Bolts — go Ducks — but I digress. The Raiders will enter SoFi Stadium for their first bout with the Chargers — just another stadium for Raider Nation to takeover.
Week 10 - Denver Broncos
Back-to-back division games? Let's go. All division games are rivalry games, but I really don't like the Broncos, and I know many of you don't either. Nothing brings me more joy than watching the Raiders handle business against Denver.
Week 11 - Kansas City Chiefs
Back-to-back-to-back division games? What kind of schedule sorcery is this? This will be a challenging stretch for the Raiders and will cap it off against the toughest of the three division rivals, and they'll do it on Sunday Night Football.
Week 12 - at Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons didn't meet expectations last season, but they still have a dynamic offense with one of the best wide receivers to ever play the game in Julio Jones. This will be a tough test for Trayvon Mullen, but I know he's ready to thrive against the best players in the game.
Week 13 - at New York Jets
The Raiders will return to the Meadowlands in 2020 for a chance at redemption. Last year, the team floundered at MetLife Stadium and underperformed, but with new weapons at virtually every position I don't expect the same to happen again.
Week 14 - Indianapolis Colts
It won't be in powder blue, but Philip Rivers will still face off against the Raiders. The veteran gunslinger will enter Allegiant Stadium with a new squad, but face a Raiders secondary that's familiar with his tricks. I put the over/under on Rivers' interceptions at 1.5.
Week 15 - Los Angeles Chargers
The Silver and Black's final primetime game of the season will come on Thursday Night Football in what I expect to be a crucial game with playoff implications.
Week 16 - Miami Dolphins
I have a feeling these won't be the same Miami Dolphins of old. With a new starting quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa and several new additions around him, the Raiders will need to be ready.
Week 17 - at Denver Broncos
For the second consecutive year, the Raiders will close out the season against the Broncos. I'm excited to see who has the better game between former teammates Henry Ruggs III and Jerry Jeudy.
Take a look at when and where the Las Vegas Raiders will face their 2020 opponents during their inaugural season at Allegiant Stadium.