Back in 2014 the Raiders made the request with the league to play a game on the East Coast the week prior to their game in London. They were granted their request, playing the Patriots in Foxboro Mass. and immediately hopping a flight across the pond where they spent the week.
With that precedent set, most expected they would do the same this year when they travel to London in week 6 to face the Seahawks. Then the schedule came out and they were in Los Angeles to face the Chargers the previous week. It wasn’t exactly what the Raiders wanted, but pretty close. They wanted a home game
“We would have liked to have been home,” said Reggie McKenzie Friday. “We would have tried to make it as close to a regular work week as possible. We requested to try to stay here and then just fly out.”
Playing in the Chargers stadium is basically another home game for them and outside of their game in San Francisco, it’s also as close to home as the Raiders could have played in their week before their London trip.
“We plan to not make it as hard,” McKenzie continued. “We want to keep it pretty simple for the players and go through a normal routine as much as possible.”
A normal routine would be practicing in Alameda that week and flying out probably Friday for London.
This goes right along with Gruden’s philosophy that the team spend as much time at home as possible. It’s the same reason he said he wouldn’t be doing anything like Jack Del Rio did in keeping the team in Florida between East Coast games.
There’s no reason, honestly, to acclimate to London time. The game will happen at 6pm local time which is 10am Pacific, so it’s the same on the bodily clock as an East Coast game. And in this case, there isn’t even an advantage for the opponent because it’s the Seahawks, so they’re both playing the equivalent of a 10am game.
I will miss spending that week in London, though. Maybe since they will have a bye week after, I can stay a bit afterward to make up for it.