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Handicapping a Raiders’ Week 1 primetime Las Vegas debut

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Tom Brady visiting Vegas to open the 2020 NFL season would be fun, too

Allegiant Stadium Under Construction
Allegiant Stadium
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

On Tuesday, we looked at the Raiders’ schedule as the NFL announced that the 2020 season schedule will be released no later than May 9.

That got me thinking — who will the Raiders play in the first game in Las Vegas? There has been reports that they may play a Week 1 primetime game in their new home.

Let’s go with that premise, with it either being a Sunday night game or one of the two games on opening Monday night. The Raiders have often been part of the Monday night doubleheader over the years, including having home games in the past two seasons.

I could see Las Vegas getting the late Monday night treatment in Week 1, after all, it is the city that really never sleeps.

OK, so who would be the opponent if, indeed, the Raiders play a home Week 1 Monday nighter?

Let’s rank them in the order I’d like to see:

NFL: JAN 04 AFC Wild Card - Titans at Patriots
Tom Brady
Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tampa Bay: The Buccaneers will likely want to start the Tom Brady era at home. But how cool would a Brady-Vegas season opener be? Surely, ESPN will would love it. Also, it could also play up the first Gruden-Tampa Bay meeting since he was fired in 2008.

New Orleans: If not Brady, Drew Brees in Vegas in Week 1 is pretty appealing.

Oakland Raiders v. Los Angeles Chargers
Philip Rivers
Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

Indianapolis: If not Brady or Brees, how about old Raider foe Philip Rivers opening Las Vegas? The Raiders would probably love it. Rivers was awful against the Raiders in 2019.

Denver: It would be a repeat of last year’s Monday night game in Week 1. It would be cool to start a new era against a division foe.

L.A. Chargers: This is best remaining option, but other than the division rivalry, there aren’t a of great storylines. Also, the Chargers will probably start the season on the road because the Rams will likely play in SoFi in Week 1.

LSU v Alabama
Tua Tagovailoa
Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Miami: If the Dolphins take Tua Tagovailoa, there could be some TV appeal here.

Buffalo: The Bills are pretty good. The Raiders may want an easier opponent to start the Vegas experience.

Kansas City: This is likely out of the question because the Super Bowl champion will host a Week 1 game, probably on Thursday night.