Raiders: Analyzing the 4 hardest games on the 2020 schedule

Raiders (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Raiders (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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Raiders (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Week 2 — Home vs. New Orleans Saints

If you wanted a fireworks show for the Raiders’ first-ever game at Allegiant Stadium, then you’ve got the perfect matchup: a Monday night, prime-time home date with the New Orleans Saints in Week 2.

After going on the road in Week 1 to face the Carolina Panthers, Las Vegas will be excited to return home and debut in their new city in front of the rowdy and passionate Raider Nation. However, they didn’t give the team an easy opponent to open the new stadium with.

The New Orleans Saints, coached by Sean Payton and quarterbacked by Drew Brees, are expected to be Super Bowl contenders once again in 2020. They finished 13-3 in 2019 for the second consecutive season, and their 37 regular-season wins since 2017 are tops in the whole league.

With an elite offense anchored by wide receivers Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders running back Alvin Kamara and former Raiders’ tight end Jared Cook, along with an opportunistic defense that boasts talent on all three levels, they pose a formidable threat to crash the Raiders’ homecoming party in Las Vegas.

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Week 4 — Home vs. Buffalo Bills

The Bills represent one of the biggest intra-conference threats to the Raiders. With an emerging young quarterback in Josh Allen and a good coach in Sean McDermott, this is sure to be a hard-fought matchup.

The Bills finished 10-6 and secured a playoff spot in 2019, their second in the last three years, though they would lose to the Houston Texans in overtime.

Despite this game being at home for Las Vegas, the Bills are presumptive favorites to unseat the Patriots in the AFC East in 2020. They added Stefon Diggs at wide receiver and are well-coached as a unit, especially on defense where McDermott’s strengths lie.

The Raiders will need to cobble together an all-out effort to stave off two potential home losses to begin the 2020 season.