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Raiders schedule 2019: Ten observations, things to know

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NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Raiders 2019 schedule was released Wednesday night. You can see the full schedule here.

Wk 1: Mon., Sept. 9 DENVER BRONCOS 7:20 p.m. ESPN
Wk 2: Sun., Sept. 15 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 1:05 p.m. CBS
Wk 3: Sun., Sept. 22 at Minnesota Vikings 10:00 a.m. FOX
Wk 4: Sun., Sept. 29 at Indianapolis Colts 10:00 a.m. CBS
Wk 5: Sun., Oct. 6 CHICAGO BEARS# 10:00 a.m. FOX
Wk 7: Sun., Oct. 20 at Green Bay Packers 10:00 a.m. CBS
Wk 8: Sun., Oct. 27 at Houston Texans 10:00 a.m. CBS
Wk 9: Sun., Nov. 3 DETROIT LIONS 1:05 p.m. FOX
Wk 10: Thu., Nov. 7 LOS ANGELES CHARGERS* 5:20 p.m. FOX
Wk 11: Sun., Nov. 17 CINCINNATI BENGALS 1:25 p.m. CBS
Wk 12: Sun., Nov. 24 at New York Jets 10:00 a.m. CBS
Wk 13: Sun., Dec. 1 at Kansas City Chiefs 10:00 a.m. CBS
Wk 14: Sun., Dec. 8 TENNESSEE TITANS 1:25 p.m. CBS
Wk 15: Sun., Dec. 15 JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS 1:05 p.m. CBS
Wk 16: Sat/Sun., Dec. 21/22 at Los Angeles Chargers** TBD TBD
Wk 17: Sun., Dec. 29 at Denver Broncos 1:25 p.m. CBS

And here are a few interesting things to note about the schedule:

  1. The toughest schedule in the NFL. With their 2019 opponents finishing 2018 with a .539 win percentage, no team has a tougher schedule on paper than the Raiders. They also lose a home game to London and have SEVEN GAMES that start at 10 am Pacific time (1 pm ET). Brutal.
  2. For a second straight season the Raiders will open up on Monday Night Football. They will face the Denver Broncos, who played the Raiders in their last game in Oakland last season, also on Monday night. You might recall that was an inspired victory in what many thought could be the last game ever in Oakland.
  3. In a rare instance, the Raiders open the season with back-to-back home games. Usually the league will schedule at least one road game in the first two weeks so less time will be spent playing on baseball dirt. Both games are against division foes too. After the Broncos, they face the Chiefs. Then they don’t face another division rival until mid-November when they host the Chargers on Thursday Night Football.
  4. Homesick. Following that two-game home stand to start the season, they won’t be back to Oakland for nearly two months. The Chiefs game is September 15. After that they play in Minnesota, Indianapolis, London (Bears), Green Bay, and Houston with a bye week in between before returning to Oakland on November 3 to face the Lions.
  5. No return of the Mack. The NFL is taking the Khalil Mack’s return to face his former team to London. Make no mistake, though, Mark Davis has a say in this. And it’s fairly obvious why he wouldn’t want the Raiders to face the guy they traded for two first round picks come to town and tear up the Raiders in front of the fans who used to adore watching him run out the tunnel onto the field in Silver & Black and wreck opposing QB’s.
  6. Hot(spur) take two. The game in London will be played at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Raiders scheduled a game there last year, but the stadium was delayed in construction and so the game had to be moved to Wembley. This will be the second of TWO games the Raiders will take internationally. They will also face the Packers in Canada (rumored to be Winnipeg) in week three of the preseason. If you count that preseason game in Canada, the Raiders will have sent six home games to international locations in six years (3 in London, 2 in Mexico City).
  7. Welcome home stand. Their return to Oakland will start a three-game home stand with the Lions on November 3 followed by the Chargers on Thursday Night Football and finishing up against the Bengals.
  8. Anticlimactic ending. The potential final game in Oakland will be in week 15 against.... the Jaguars?? After road games in New York (Jets) and Kansas City, the final home stand of the season, and at this moment in Oakland history will be against the Titans in week 14 and Jaguars in week 15. Ending their time in Oakland two weeks before the season is over against a non-division foe is certainly not how you would have expected or hoped their time in Oakland would end.
  9. A different Silver & Blackout farewell. The Raiders will face the Chargers in week 16 in what figures to be their final game at StubHub in Carson before they move into their new stadium with the Rams. What more fitting way to end it than with the usual blackout of Raiders fans in little StubHub. After that the two teams hope to be facing off in each other’s new digs in Inglewood and Las Vegas respectively. Though the Raiders Nation dominance will simply continue in Inglewood.
  10. Bookended by Broncos. The Broncos opened the season in prime time in Oakland and close it out in Denver.