Even if there are less fans in Allegiant Stadium this season than there are number of years with Jason Witten in the booth on Monday Night Football, millions will get a look at the Raiders new home in 2020. A long look. Several long looks.
The NFL has packed the 2020 schedule with opportunities for fans at home to not only fantasize what Darren Waller can do for their chances to beat an acquaintance they haven’t seen in eight years in a $100 buy-in league, but to imagine yourself getting on a plane in 2021 to see “
Football Team” (shoot, I guess I can’t use a generic term to describe any random football team anymore) play the Raiders in between cruising the strip. You know what’s cooler than losing $100 in four months?
Losing $100 before you’ve even left the LAS terminal.
The Raiders not only make three primetime appearances in their first 10 games alone, but they’re also positioned to be in a featured game in most of their contests over that time period. So long as they are not hard to watch, Las Vegas will be watched a lot in the next few months.
After a Week 1 game against the Carolina Panthers — who enter the season with high hopes for Teddy Bridgewater as a mentor to Trevor Lawrence — the Raiders don’t spend much time playing against expected inferior competition:
Week 2 - Saints at Raiders, Monday Night Football, ESPN
Week 3 - Raiders at Patriots (a draw until they aren’t)
Week 4 - Bills at Raiders (2019 wild card team)
Week 5 - Raiders at Chiefs
Week 6 - Bye
Week 7 - Buccaneers at Raiders, Sunday Night Football, NBC
Week 8 - Raiders at Browns
Week 9 - Raiders at Chargers (SoFi Stadium’s first season)
Week 10 - Broncos at Raiders
Week 11 - Chiefs at Raiders, Sunday Night Football, NBC
Over those nine games, Las Vegas will host three primetime games (Sunday Night Football can flex out either or both, but taking Tom Brady or Patrick Mahomes off of the schedule makes little sense as of now), play five games against 2019 playoff teams, and could very well be playing in notable home games against Buffalo and Denver; I would imagine that the NFL is going to be promoting Las Vegas like it were ... Las Vegas.
Should the Raiders make it through 10 games with a winning record, their final six games may give them an opportunity to finish with a winning record: at Falcons, at Jets, vs Colts, vs Chargers (Thursday Night, the fourth primetime game of the season at Allegiant), vs Dolphins, and at Broncos.
As of Sunday, we are four weeks away from the scheduled start of the 2020 season. If the NFL sticks to schedule, the Raiders will be seen plenty more after that.