The Las Vegas Raiders schedule for the 2020 season has officially been released, and although it is a fairly favorable schedule, there are a few trap games.
Compared to last season, the Las Vegas Raiders schedule is pretty favorable heading into their first year in the desert. The team has four prime time games at home for the first time in franchise history as they christen their brand new stadium.
Looking at the schedule, the team will have to face some of the best teams in the NFL, such as the Kansas City Chiefs twice and the New Orleans Saints, but this Raiders team has the potential to win a lot of games. Last season, the Raiders had a three-win improvement from the year before, and they have done a nice job adding talent on both sides of the ball this offseason.
With that being said, there are always trap games that badly hurt teams seasons, and if the Raiders are not well prepared for every team, they could fall into the trap. Sitting at 6-4 last season, it seemed like a given that the team would make the playoffs with games against the New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars on the horizon, but we all know how that ended up.
Let's take a look at three games that could be trap games for the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020.
11/1/20: Cleveland Browns
It is hard to tell how good the Cleveland Browns will be in 2020 considering how much they underachieved last season, but a team like the Browns can always be a trap game. Although they do not win a lot of games, the Browns have a roster filled with talent, and will go into next season with a brand new head coach in Kevin Stefanski.
Before the Raiders face the Browns, they will play arguably the three best teams on their schedule in the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and could be riding a three-game losing streak heading into this matchup. Along with that, the last game of that stretch is a night game against the Buccaneers, though that is a Thursday night matchup.
If the Raiders go up against three of the best teams in the league, they may be heading into the Browns game relieved and ready for an easy game, which would be a perfect set up for a trap game. Going East is never an easy thing either, and even with the extra days to prepare after a TNF tilt, this one has trap written all over it.
11/29/20: Atlanta Falcons
Before the Raiders play the Atlanta Falcons, they will face off against their three division rivals in back-to-back-to-back. Games like that can be draining due to the rivalry, especially considering every team in the AFC West should be competitive this season after busy offseasons.
Although the Falcons are not the best team, they do have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, and Julio Jones could cause problems to the Raiders young corners. Jones is widely regarded as one of the better wide receivers in all of football, and it will be interesting to see if Trayvon Mullen can shut him down.
Heading into last season, many believed that the Falcons would be a contender in the NFC, and it was pretty shocking how bad of a start they got out to. Matt Ryan is a very capable quarterback, and they have made improvements on defense, so nobody should be sleeping on this team, which just happened to be in the Super Bowl a few years back.
12/27/20: Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins have been one of the worst teams in the league recently, but they have completely changed their team this offseason. Although they will likely struggle early, they could easily become much more competitive as the season goes on, especially if they turn to rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Not only do the Raiders play the Dolphins later in the season, but they do it at a time where they could be riding a win streak and could overlook the Dolphins. Before Miami, the Raiders will face off against the Falcons, Jets, Colts, and Chargers, four games that the Raiders could no doubt win.
If a team is high on confidence, they could overlook a lesser opponent, which is something that happened to the Raiders midway through last season. This is the final home game of the 2020 slate, so the crowd will certainly be rocking, but the Dolphins played tough under head coach Brian Flores last season, and they have vastly improved their talent on both sides of the ball this offseason.