The Raiders enter the 2016 season with raised expectations and a belief they’ll be able to win several games on their new slate. It was announced on Thursday afternoon, and features three road games in the first and final four, three prime time games and an international affair against Houston in Mexico City.
The road games come in clusters, but head coach Jack Del Rio proved his Raiders can win on the road, even a great distance from home.
That will be crucial in a travel-heavy start to the season, which features games against the NFC and AFC South, weaker divisions in recent seasons. Despite some tough road trips, this schedule isn’t as difficult as recent seasons.
Let’s take a look at the schedule, game by game:
Raiders 2016 regular-season schedule
Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 11, at New Orleans, 10 a.m. FOX
Comment: Raiders open the season against Drew Brees, the Saints and a defense that hasn’t been good in some time.
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 18, vs. Atlanta, 1:25 p.m. (CBS)
Comment: Another NFC South showdown to start the season. Could be a lot of points scored in the home opener. Should be the only game played on the Athletics’ infield dirt.
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 25, at Tennessee, 10 a.ma (CBS)
Comment: Raiders head back to Nashville for a second straight season. Titans should be improved over the last meeting, despite not having much of a home-field advantage.
Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 2, at Ravens, 10 a.m. (CBS)
Comment: Raiders travel cross country for their third road game in four contests.
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 9, vs. SAN DIEGO, 1:25 p.m. (CBS)
Comment: Raiders beat the rival Chargers twice last year. Team needs to make it three straight in the AFC West opener.
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 16, vs. KANSAS CITY, 1:05 p.m. (CBS)
Comment: Games against the Chiefs will be crucial if the Raiders hope to compete for an AFC West crown this year. Gotta get the home game.
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 23, at Jacksonville, 10 a.m. (CBS)
Comment: Head coach Jack Del Rio returns to Jacksonville, where he was head coach from 2003-11.
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 30, at Tampa Bay, 10 a.m. (CBS)
Comment: Second straight road game in Florida. Raiders could end up staying in the Sunshine before playing the Bucs.
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 6, vs. DENVER, 5:30 p.m., (NBC)
Comment: Raiders get a Sunday night game against the Broncos, the first in that time slot in years. That’s a big one, especially because it’s in Oakland.
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 13, BYE
Comment: Bye comes at a good time. Possible that Aldon Smith gets reinstated shortly after.
Week 11: Monday, Nov. 21, vs. Houston in Mexico City, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Comment: Raiders play south of the border. It’ll be important to play well in a new environment, where they’ll have to deal with altitude and pollution.
Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 27, vs. Carolina, 1:05 p.m.
Comment: A tough contest against the NFC champions, even at home. Raiders must recover quickly from Mexico trip.
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 4, vs. Buffalo, 1:05 p.m. (CBS)
Comment: Team gets consecutive home games against a team in transition.
Week 14: Thursday, Dec. 8, at KANSAS CITY, 5:25 p.m. (NBC/NFLN)
Comment: Another Thursday night game versus Kansas City, the second in three seasons. Could be the first cold-weather game of the year.
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 18, at San Diego, 1:25 p.m., CBS
Comment: Is this the final trip to San Diego? Raiders won there last year. Always a feels like a home game with Raider Nation’s invasion.
Week 16: Saturday, Dec. 24, vs. Indianapolis, 1:05 p.m. (CBS)
Comment: Raiders will spend Christmas Eve against the Colts in what could be the final game in Oakland. Maybe. We’ll see.
Week 17: Sunday, Jan. 1, at Denver, 1:25 p.m. (CBS)
Comment: Closing the season and ringing in Denver. Raiders beat the Broncos a mile high last year.