The official 2022 NFL schedule released Thursday and the Raiders now have their slate of opponents for the upcoming season. After a 10-7 year and a playoff appearance in 2021, first-year Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels will be leading Derek Carr, Davante Adams and the Raiders through a difficult schedule in pursuit of another playoff appearance. Here’s how the schedule breaks down.
The AFC West seems to be the consensus “best division in football.” The Raiders were a playoff team last year, the Chargers have one of the best young quarterbacks in the league, the Chiefs have been to multiple Super Bowls recently, and the Broncos have a good defense with a new star quarterback in Russell Wilson. For the first time since 2009, the Raiders will play each division rival within the first five games. This should be an extremely tough start to the season. In addition to the rivals, the Raiders will face the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2 and the Tennessee Titans in Week 3. Both these teams were in the playoffs last year and offer fierce competition.
The Bye Week
After the Week 5 Monday Night Football game against the Chiefs, the Raiders will have their bye week. Following that, they will face the Houston Texans at home. This is an excellent situation, as the Texans are a bottom-feeding team in the NFL right now. As of now, this seems to be the easiest part of the schedule for next season. After the Texans, they face the Jaguars, Saints, Colts, Broncos, and Seahawks. None of these teams made it to the playoffs last year. The Raiders have a chance to pick up a string of wins during this period before their challenging end-of-season schedule.
The Home Stretch
To kick off the last six games of the season, the Raiders will be facing off against the Los Angeles Chargers. Then they will face another Los Angeles team, the Super Bowl Champion Rams. This matchup is slated to be a Thursday Night Football game. Another primetime game follows the next week when they face the New England Patriots for Sunday Night Football.
Rounding out the season are the Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, and the Kansas City Chiefs. Of the six teams the Raiders play at the end of their 2022 schedule, five made it to the playoffs last year. The only team that didn’t was the Los Angeles Chargers. Despite that, the Chargers are viewed as one of the best teams in the league due to their elite quarterback and free agency additions.
The Raiders face a tough schedule next season. As we saw last season, no game is a sure win. There were many upsets that no one could’ve seen coming. The Raiders must capitalize on their opportunities if they want another playoff berth.
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