There's no shortage of intrigue for the Raiders this season.
The team will be looking to improve following a 6-11 season, with a lot of new pieces in place to compete with the rest of the league. To compliment stars such as Maxx Crosby and Davante Adams, the Silver and Black added some more great players in the likes of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, receiver Jakobi Meyers and safety Marcus Epps. With the 10th hardest schedule in the league, according to NFL Research, there will be no easy road to victory for the 2023 Raiders.
Here are six potential storylines to follow for the Raiders' upcoming season:
A new sheriff in Denver
The season opener pits the Raiders against the Denver Broncos on the road. The Silver and Black have claimed victory in the last six meetings between the teams.
Outside of this being the Raiders' first game of the year, they'll also be facing Denver's new Head Coach Sean Payton. The former New Orleans Saints coach returns to football after spending a year away as a broadcaster for FOX.
While Payton was in New Orleans, he compiled a 152-89 record, seven NFC South championships, a Super Bowl XLIV victory and was named AP Coach of the Year in 2006. Payton is known to be an offensive mastermind for what he accomplished with quarterback Drew Brees, who's second all-time in NFL history in passing yards and touchdowns.
The Broncos coach now inherits nine-time Pro Bowler Russell Wilson under center, who is coming off a less than ideal first season in Denver. Payton could add a new chapter in the two teams' storied divisional rivalry.
A primetime rematch
The Raiders' home opener this season will be a primetime affair against the Pittsburgh Steelers. This matchup seems intriguing based off what happened last season in their Christmas Eve showdown.
The Silver and Black will try to avenge their 13-10 loss to the Steelers in last season's 50th anniversary of "The Immaculate Reception." With the Raiders hosting this matchup inside Allegiant Stadium, the weather is guaranteed to be much better than last year's frigid temperatures and snowfall in Pittsburgh. It will also be interesting to see the development of second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett, who led the Steelers to four consecutive wins to end the 2022 season.
New team, same Tae
The Green Bay Packers will have a quarterback under center not named Aaron Rodgers when they arrive to Las Vegas for a Week 5 clash on Monday Night Football.
Jordan Love is expected to take over as the team's starting quarterback after four-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers was traded to the Jets (stay tuned for another storyline surrounding Rodgers). It's still yet to be seen how the Packers offense will look with Love, who's started in one career game.
There's also no way we can forget to mention this being All-Pro receiver's Davante Adams first game against his former team since being traded to the Silver and Black. Adams was drafted by the Packers in 2014 with the 53rd overall pick and in eight seasons in Green Bay, he caught 73 touchdowns while earning five Pro Bowl selections and two First Team All-Pro nods. Meanwhile, in Adams' first season in the desert, he broke the Raiders franchise single-season receiving yards record (1,516) and led the league in receiving touchdowns (14).
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A pop-up shop on Wall Street
The New York Giants will be arriving to Las Vegas in Week 9, after having a superb first season under Brian Daboll. After a 4-13 season in 2021, the Giants capitalized off a new coaching staff and draft capital to go 9-7-1 and win a playoff game over the Minnesota Vikings.
This game notably also includes the return of former Raiders tight end Darren Waller. He was traded to the Giants earlier this offseason in exchange for a 2023 third-round draft pick (that resulted in the Raiders selecting WR Tre Tucker). While in the Silver and Black, Waller broke Tim Brown's franchise record for most receptions in a season (107) while also earning a Pro Bowl nod.
A-Rod comes to Vegas
Here's that other Aaron Rodgers related storyline I was talking about.
One week after taking on the Giants, the Raiders will host the other Big Apple team – the New York Jets – in primetime. This Jets team has a lot of media hype surrounding them, mostly due to their acquisition of Aaron Rodgers. The 39-year-old QB ranks among the top 10 in league history in career passing yards (59,055), passing touchdowns (475) and passes completed (5,001), and has accumulated a 147-75-1 record as a starter.
This will also be the first game with Rodgers and Davante Adams on opposing sides after enjoying massive success together in Green Bay. Rodgers' main receiver is poised to be reigning Offensive Rookie of Year Garrett Wilson, who Rodgers recently said is "pretty similar" to his former teammate.
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
The Raiders will not be home for the holidays, instead they'll be battling the Super Bowl champs.
The Silver and Black are set to face the Kansas City Chiefs on Christmas Day at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. The storylines write themselves: a divisional game against the reigning league and Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes. This will also be the second straight year the Raiders are traveling around the holiday season, having faced the Steelers on Christmas Eve in 2022.
Take a look at when and where the Las Vegas Raiders will face their opponents for this upcoming season.