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The upcoming 2021 schedule is in the Raiders’ favor

Everything is coming up Las Vegas’ way right now ...

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Las Vegas Raiders
Raiders celebrate
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Life is pretty good for the Las Vegas Raiders right now.

They are 2-0 and one of seven undefeated teams in the NFL and have an early lead over big AFC West favorite the Kansas City Chiefs. Let’s look at some reason why the Raiders’ current status is so important moving forward.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Las Vegas Raiders
Raiders beat Lamar
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Wins over Ravens, Steelers huge:
When the NFL schedule was released in May, many people cringed when they saw that the Raiders were opening the season with back-to-back games against AFC North powers, the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers. A sweep of the two teams seemed unlikely. But here sit the Raiders at 2-0. This sweep may pay dividends down the road. The Raiders hold wild-card and home-field advantage tiebreakers over both the Ravens and the Steelers. That is a huge ace in the hole for Las Vegas.

Chiefs or Chargers could be in trouble after Sunday;
The Raiders received a beautiful bonus last Sunday after they beat the Steelers 26-17. Both the Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers lost heartbreaking games to fall to 1-1. The Raiders, as a result, are tied atop the AFC West with the Denver Broncos at 2-0. Honestly, I believe the Broncos are a mirage and they will fade. The Chiefs are still the team to beat and the Chargers are tough, too. Those two teams play Sunday. One will drop to 1-2 (yes, yes, unless there is a tie in Kansas City). If the Raiders take care of business against the hurt and not good Miami Dolphins at home on Sunday, they will have a two-game lead over a quality division opponent. That would be huge.

Raiders have a chance for big start:
We all know the Raiders have a tough ending to the season, but I always thought the beginning of the season was sneaky tough and it was imperative that Las Vegas started fast. With the chance to start 3-0 on Sunday, the Raiders are set up to hit the meaty part of their schedule with a stout record. If Las Vegas can get to their Oct. 31 bye at 5-2 or so, they will really be in business. That’s why this 2-0 start is so important.

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Pittsburgh Steelers
Jon Gruden, Cory Littleton
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

It’s super early and Las Vegas has to prove this is, indeed, the year they aren’t going to fold after a hot start like in the past two years. But there are a lot of intangibles here that suggest the Raiders can have sustained success and make the playoffs for the first time in five years.