The Oakland Raiders are coming off a stellar 12-4 season in which the team saw its first postseason action in 14 years. With a young core headlined by Derek Carr, Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack, the Raiders will be featured in five primetime games during the 2017-18 season.
In just three seasons, Oakland went from a three-win team to a legitimate Super Bowl contender that was heavily requested to play in front of multiple national audiences throughout the year. Credit for the team’s quick turnaround belongs to everyone involved, including general manager Reggie McKenzie, head coach Jack Del Rio and the entire Raiders squad.
Without further ado, let’s look at some notable games during the regular season that Raiders fans will certainly circle on their calendars.
Week 1: The Raiders kick off the season in Nashville, Tenn. against the up-and-coming Titans, who figure to make a push for their first postseason berth since 2008. With two young quarterbacks on display in Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota, in addition to many supporting stars around them, this matchup will be a treat for football fans everywhere.
In their last two matchups against the Titans on the road, Oakland picked up wins in both contests, outscoring Tennessee by a combined 41-31 score.
Week 2: In what could potentially be the final home opener in Oakland, depending on the status of the 2018 coliseum option, the Raiders host the rebuilding New York Jets for the first time since 2015.
What might make even bigger headlines in this game is the potential home debut for Oakland native Marshawn Lynch, who is expected to come out of retirement and officially suit up for the Raiders in the coming days.
Week 11: The Raiders return to Mexico for the second consecutive season, this time hosting the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
Both teams feature explosive offenses with plenty of playmakers on the defensive side, so it’s no surprise that this one could easily be a preview of the AFC Championship Game. When factoring in the history between these two teams, as well, this matchup becomes appointment television for football fans all over the world.
Week 15: The Raiders and Dallas Cowboys square off at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum during Sunday Night Football in a game which figures to have serious playoff implications for both teams.
The Raiders will get their first look at Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, who was named NFC Offensive Rookie of the Year last season in addition to earning his first Pro Bowl selection.
On the flip side, the Cowboys will see many new faces on Oakland since the two teams last played four years ago.
Historically, the Raiders own a 6-5 record in 11 matchups against the Cowboys and look to add to that win total in week 15.
Week 16: In a rare Christmas Day matchup in Philadelphia, Penn., the Raiders and Eagles meet for the first time since 2013 and just the second time since 2009.
With both teams boasting young, star quarterbacks and a plethora of talent complementing them on both sides of the ball, this game should be one of the more entertaining and fun contests of the day.
Week 17: For the first time since the club relocated to Oakland in 1995, the Raiders return to Los Angeles on New Year’s Eve to renew their rivalry with the Chargers at StubHub Center.
If previous seasons where the Chargers resided in San Diego were any indication, the crowd will be flooded with Raiders gear during this critical regular season finale.
And should the Raiders be playoff-bound for the second consecutive year, the atmosphere in the stands will be that much more electric.