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5 storylines around the Silver and Black's 2024 season

Football is a little closer to being back.

With the reveal of the 2024 NFL schedule, the Las Vegas Raiders have a lot to be excited about coming off the heels of an 8-9 season and finishing second in the AFC West.

Here are five games with some dynamic storylines for the Raiders' upcoming season:

Week 2 • at Baltimore Ravens

It's never an easy day at work game planning for Lamar Jackson.

The reigning NFL MVP led the Baltimore Ravens to a 13-3 record and the No. 1 seed in the AFC in 2023. He continued to establish himself as one of the most electrifying dual threat quarterbacks in NFL history, accounting for 3,678 passing yards, 821 rushing yards and 29 total touchdowns. Jackson was complemented by the league's top defense in least amount of points allowed (280).

The last time the Silver and Black played the Ravens was in their 2021 season opener on Monday Night Football. Maxx Crosby sacked Jackson twice in his AFC Defensive Player of the Week showing, and the Raiders scored a walk-off touchdown in overtime to win 34-27.

Week 8 • vs. Kansas Chiefs Chiefs

This highly anticipated rivalry game will be the first time the two teams have squared off since the Raiders defeated the Chiefs on Christmas Day.

The Silver and Black defense stymied Patrick Mahomes in Arrowhead Stadium, allowing only 14 points while notching two takeaways – both turnovers resulting in touchdowns for Las Vegas. It was the Raiders' first road win against the Chiefs since 2020.

This game was a huge turning point for both teams in several ways. The game symbolized the turnaround in the Raiders defense toward the end of the season. It also propelled the Chiefs to getting back on the right track, not losing a single game the rest of the season en route to their second consecutive Super Bowl victory.

"I appreciate you kicking our tail because you taught us a lesson," Andy Reid texted Pierce following the defeat. "You get complacent in this business, the margin between winning and losing is tiny. You better step up. There's a time and a place for these players that have been here before. You know what it takes. If you're the veteran that's dropping the ball or you're the veteran getting the penalties, you better figure it out. Figure it out quick. This season's gonna go down."

A rivalry game of this magnitude will always be circled on the Raiders calendar, but this one will undoubtedly have a little bit more juice.

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Week 11 • at Miami Dolphins

Christian Wilkins, the Raiders' splash free agent signing, will be returning to the city where his NFL dreams became a reality.

The 2019 first-round pick played five seasons with the Miami Dolphins, evolving into one the game's premier interior defensive linemen. He's racked up 17 sacks, 12 pass deflections and 36 tackles for loss over the last three seasons while not missing a game. Lining up alongside Maxx Crosby could be a nightmare for opposing offensive lines, including a Dolphins offense that was the second-best ranked unit in 2023.

Speaking of the Dolphins offensive line, we could potentially see a brother vs. brother matchup in Miami. The Raiders' 2024 fifth-round draft pick Tommy Eichenberg will be pitted against Dolphins guard Liam Eichenberg, his older brother.

Last season, the Dolphins handed the Raiders their first loss under Pierce, 20-13 at Hard Rock Stadium. The Silver and Black defense created three turnovers in that Week 11 outing – two forced fumbles by Nate Hobbs and Luke Masterson along with an interception by Isaiah Pola-Mao.

Week 15 • vs. Atlanta Falcons

The lone primetime game in Allegiant Stadium this season will be against an up-and-coming Atlanta Falcons team.

For starters, Atlanta upgraded the quarterback position in a big way by signing four-time Pro Bowler Kirk Cousins and drafting Heisman Trophy finalist Michael Penix with the No. 8 overall pick. These two quarterbacks have a plethora of young weapons as well, highlighted by running back Bijan Robinson, receiver Drake London and tight end Kyle Pitts.

Atlanta fans should be familiar with two Raiders in particular from their collegiate success: Zamir White and Brock Bowers. The duo won a national championship together at Georgia, with Bowers earning a second as White headed to the NFL. Bowers was a two-time John Mackey Award winner in Athens, Georgia, roughly 70 miles east of Atlanta.

Week 17 • at New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Saints starting quarterback Derek Carr certainly has a lot of history with the Silver and Black. He'll now face his former team for the first time in his career.

Drafted out of Fresno State with the 36th pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, Carr started nine seasons for the Raiders before he was released in 2023. He set the Raiders franchise record for passing yards, passing touchdowns, pass completions, fourth quarter comebacks and game-winning drives. In his first season with the Saints, he completed over 68 percent of his throws with 25 touchdowns. Along with Carr, former Raiders tight end Foster Moreau and safety Johnathan Abram are part of the New Orleans squad.

The Raiders suffered a brutal 24-0 defeat the last time these two teams faced off in Caesars Superdome, adding more intrigue to this matchup.

Take a look at when and where the Las Vegas Raiders will face their opponents for this upcoming season.

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