Week 7 — Home vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Super Bowl XXXVII rematch anyone? That’s what’s facing the Raiders in Week 7 at Allegiant Stadium when the newly revamped Tampa Bay Buccaneers come to Las Vegas for a Sunday night primetime game.
You all know the headlines, Tampa Bay brought in six-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady and formerly retired Super Bowl champion tight end Rob Gronkowski this off-season in an all-out effort to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
This clash will also feature a battle between two of the more well-regarded offensive minds in the game in Jon Gruden and Bucs’ coach Bruce Arians, going into his second season with Tampa.
Under the bright lights of Vegas and a national TV audience, this is sure to be a highlight of the Raiders’ schedule, but also one of their toughest games. Luckily, the team has a bye week in Week 6, which could mean a healthier roster for this important matchup.
Week 8 — Away @ Cleveland Browns
You probably aren’t used to seeing the Browns on a list of a team’s toughest opponents. That’s because the Browns have never been more talented.
One could make the argument Cleveland has the best roster in the NFL. Though quarterback Baker Mayfield has had ups and downs through the first two years of his career, the talent surrounding him is elite.
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His new coach is Kevin Stefanski, lauded for his work in Minnesota as Kirk Cousins‘ quarterbacks coach and later his offensive coordinator.
Not to mention, they possess an elite backfield tandem in Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb. It would not be out of line to say the Raiders will have their hands full in this game trying to keep up with all that talent.
Furthermore, this will be a road contest in the eastern time zone, where the Raiders have not found much success overall. In fact, the team has the worst winning percentage (.216) in games played in the East since 2000.
Buckle up, Las Vegas. This one could be bumpy.
- Week 3 @ the Patriots, Week 14 vs. the Colts