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Raiders 2017 season schedule observations: Brutal second half, franchise record in prime time, more

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No more leaks. No more speculation. The schedule is out. So let’s break it down. Here is that schedule to reference as we go through it.

  • For the second season in a row and the fourth of the past five seasons, the Raiders will start the season on the road.
  • Their home opener comes against the Jets on September 17, but to try and ensure the Raiders play the fewest games on dirt, they then hit the road for two weeks, returning on October 8 against the Ravens. Unless the A’s make the playoffs, the baseball season should be done by then and the Raiders will have a nice lush green field to play on.
  • Once the Raiders do return home, they stay there for a three-week home stand against the Ravens, Chargers, and Chiefs.
  • That Chiefs game is a Thursday Night Color Rush game. They played the Chiefs in the TNF Color Rush game last year as well. The Raiders wore their throwback away jerseys. Playing at home, it will be interesting to see what they do should they stick with their traditional black home jerseys.
  • The Raiders had hoped to put two East Coast games back-to-back just as they did last season when they went to Jacksonville and Tampa in consecutive weeks. This year it’s the Bills and the Dolphins in Sunday Night Football. And they can practice and stay in the same facility in Florida they used last year in between if they choose to do so.
  • Following that East Coast trip, they will have their bye week prior to their game in Mexico City against the Patriots. This is the second straight season, the Raiders will play a ‘home’ game in Mexico City, preempted by their bye week.
  • In total this will be the Raiders’ third international game in four seasons. They lost to the Dolphins in London in 2014 and beat the Texans in Mexico City last season. In all three cases, it was a Raiders ‘home’ game.
  • After week eight, the Raiders have a brutal 6-game stretch against all teams with winning records last season, five of which were playoff teams. The Dolphins (10-6), Patriots (14-2), Broncos (9-7), Giants (11-5), Chiefs (12-4), and Cowboys (13-3). That’s a combined record of 69-27.
  • Coming off that tough stretch the Raiders head to Philadelphia for a Monday Night game Christmas Night. Last season they played on Christmas Eve in Oakland against the Colts.
  • That Eagles Monday Night game is the final of a franchise record 5 prime time match-ups for the Raiders along with three Sunday night games at Washington and Miami, and home against the Cowboys, and the TNF game in Oakland against the Chiefs.
  • They finish the season on New Years Eve with their first trip to Los Angeles in 23 years. The Chargers will be trying desperately to keep Raiders fans from overrunning them in their ‘intimiate’ 30K seat StubHub center.
  • In total, the Raiders have three 10am starts — the season opener in Tennessee, week 8 in Buffalo, and week 14 in Kansas City. Their three other trips to the Eastern time zone are all prime time games.
  • The Raiders have the 4th toughest strength of schedule behind only their division rivals and the league’s largest opponent point differential.
  • In total, they face just 3 teams on the season who had a losing record in 2016 — Jets (5-11), Chargers (5-11), and Eagles (7-9).