Las Vegas Raiders can make an early-season statement this September

The Las Vegas Raiders open up their 2024 NFL season on the road against two potential AFC Playoff contenders.
Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders
Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

On Wednesday night, the NFL released the schedule for the 2024 campaign, laying out a tough road for the Las Vegas Raiders. The Silver and Black are looking to bounce back after another season outside of the playoffs in 2023, but there are a lot of reasons to be hopeful for a strong year in Las Vegas.

For starters, the Raiders defense could be one of the best in the league next season, as they added Christian Wilkins to what should be a dominant front-7 in Las Vegas. Wilkins was the premier defensive tackle in free agency this offseason, and he fills a major void on the Raiders roster going into next season.

On offense, all eyes will be on quarterback Aidan O'Connell, as he played very well down the stretch for Las Vegas as a rookie last year. If he can build on his late-season success, and the Raiders can find a way to make up for the loss of Josh Jacobs, the Raiders offense has enough weapons to score with anybody.

We will know where the Raiders stand early in the 2024 NFL season in terms of the AFC, as they hit the road to take on two teams that should be favored to make the playoffs in 2024.

Raiders can make an AFC statement early in the 2024 NFL season

The first game of the season will be a 'road' game against the Los Angeles Chargers, although the SoFi crowd is usually loaded with Silver and Black fans. Last season, O'Connell and the Raiders shredded the Chargers late in the year, posting 63 points, but under new head coach Jim Harbaugh, this should be a much better unit.

If Las Vegas can come away with a Week 1 victory against the Chargers, they will look to move to 2-0 in an East Coast trip to Baltimore. The Ravens will once again go into the season as a favorite in the AFC, but the new-look Raiders defense should be up to the task against an elite quarterback in Lamar Jackson.

This is a tough early-season road for the Raiders, but if they can somehow win both, or even avoid an 0-2 start, it will put them on the map. The Raiders will certainly play with a lot of passion under head coach Antonio Pierce, and hopefully, that can lead them to some upsets early in the 2024 campaign.