The Las Vegas Raiders open up with two tough games against Pittsburgh and Baltimore, but an easier stretch awaits them prior to the bye week.
As we inch closer to the summer months, it is always a good time to look ahead and see what the future could hold for the 2021 Las Vegas Raiders. Las Vegas got off to a fast start in the 2020 NFL season, winning six of their first nine games, but another rough end to the season ruined their playoff chances once again.
In 2019 and 2020, the beginning of the schedule was tough, and somehow, the Raiders were able to navigate it successfully. Unfortunately, in a weaker back half of the schedule, Las Vegas struggled, so the hope is that they can finally put two halves of good football together for an entire 17-game slate.
In 2021, the schedule starts out tough, hosting Baltimore in Week 1 on Monday Night Football, and then going East on a short week to play Pittsburgh in Week 2. That could possibly lead to an 0-2 start for the Las Vegas, but after the Steelers game, the road gets easier, and they could go on a serious run prior to the bye week.
Raiders must take care of business prior to the bye week
After the matchup with Pittsburgh, the Raiders return home, and they will take on the Miami Dolphins and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Despite their improvements on both sides of the ball, that is a winnable game for the Raiders, especially if Tua begins to struggle in Year 2, much like he did against the Raiders last season.
From there, the Raiders ‘travel’ to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers in primetime before hosting the Chicago Bears. A game at Denver, and then a home matchup follows before the bye week, as the Silver and Black could face the worst stretch of quarterbacks on their schedule.
While Herbert is solid, Tua, possibly Justin Fields or Andy Dalton for Chicago, Drew Lock for Denver, and Jalen Hurst from Philadelphia is not really a solid collection of signal-callers. Even with a defense just starting to gel, the Raiders should be able to get stops against any of them.
The Las Vegas Raiders revamped their defense this offseason, and the safety spot could end up being a strength when all is said and done.
If somehow the Raiders can go into their bye week with a winning record, possibly sitting at 5-2, they will once again set themselves up for a playoff push. After the bye, they head to New York to play the Giants in a winnable game before hosting the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football.
That is when the party starts, as they will close against the Chiefs twice, the Cleveland Browns, and the Dallas Cowboys to name a few.