Las Vegas Raiders schedule 2024: Takeaways, predictions

Raiders channel 'Autumn Wind' in schedule release (2:19)

The Raiders release their schedule in epic fashion as their season sets sail on September 8 against the Chargers. (2:19)

HENDERSON, Nev. -- The Las Vegas Raiders' 2024 schedule was released along with the rest of the NFL slate Wednesday.

For the second straight year the Raiders will begin the season with a two-game road trip, opening at the Los Angeles Chargers and first-year coach Jim Harbaugh before traveling to the Baltimore Ravens and reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson. And for the second straight season, the Raiders will open and close the season against the same team, the Chargers taking the place of the Denver Broncos from 2023.

Las Vegas, with a new regime of coach Antonio Pierce and general manager Tom Telesco, will open at home with a Week 3 matchup against the Carolina Panthers and won't play host to an AFC West team until Week 8, against the two-time defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.

The Raiders, who will have their bye in Week 10 after waiting until Week 13 last season, are scheduled to appear on prime-time television only twice in 2024, at the Chiefs on Black Friday (the Raiders' first Friday game since 1966) and a Monday night home game against the Atlanta Falcons on Dec. 16. It is their fewest number of prime-time games since 2019. The Raiders will also try to add to their eight-game winning streak against the Broncos when they play in Denver on Week 5.

Here's what's in store for the Raiders:

Raiders 2024 regular-season schedule

Week 1: Sept. 8 at L.A. Chargers

Week 2: Sept. 15 at Baltimore

Week 3: Sept. 22 vs. Carolina

Week 4: Sept. 29 vs. Cleveland

Week 5: Oct. 6 at Denver

Week 6: Oct. 13 vs. Pittsburgh

Week 7: Oct. 20 at L.A. Rams

Week 8: Oct. 27 vs. Kansas City

Week 9: Nov. 3 at Cincinnati

Week 10: BYE

Week 11: Nov. 17 at Miami

Week 12: Nov. 24 vs. Denver

Week 13: Nov. 29 at Kansas City (Friday)

Week 14: Dec. 8 at Tampa Bay

Week 15: Dec. 16 vs. Atlanta (MNF)

Week 16: Dec. 22 vs. Jacksonville

Week 17: Dec. 29 at New Orleans

Week 18: Jan. 4 or 5 vs. L.A. Chargers

Strength of schedule: .512 (tied for eighth-hardest)
Over/Under: 6.5

Biggest takeaway

The Raiders have 10 home games. Yes, you read that right ... eight at Allegiant Stadium and two more at SoFi Stadium in suburban Los Angeles against the Chargers and Rams. Such is still the Raiders' appeal in L.A. as the area's most popular team, even if they last called Southern California home three decades ago. Indeed, their fan base from their 13-season SoCal sojourn from 1982-94 has only grown stronger over the years and their 2020 move to Las Vegas, only a few hours drive from Los Angeles, only solidified L.A. as a capital city of Raider Nation. Opening in Inglewood should not be as daunting a task, what with Raiders fans taking over the stadium. And yet the Raiders are just 1-4 at SoFi, with their lone win coming in front of no fans against the Chargers during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Revenge game

Whether it's Saints QB Derek Carr who wants a little payback for being benched with two games to go in the 2022 season and then using his no-trade clause before being summarily released, or the remaining Raiders who might not have taken kindly to Carr taking his ball, going home and leaving the team high and dry upon his benching, revenge is a dish best served with some gumbo in the Big Easy in Week 17 ... so long as Carr has not been replaced by rookie Spencer Rattler by then. Carr holds virtually every Raiders passing record after starting as a rookie in 2014 but was also just 63-79 in the regular season, 0-1 in the playoffs. Since he departed, the Raiders have started four different QBs in Jarrett Stidham, Jimmy Garoppolo, Aidan O'Connell and Brian Hoyer. Gardner Minshew, who the Raiders signed in the offseason, could be the fifth.

Bold prediction

The Raiders will go 4-0 in their strange late stretch of four games against the NFC South and AFC South, setting up another win-and-they're-in season finale against the Chargers. It happened in 2021, when the Raiders kicked a last-second field goal in overtime to beat the Chargers at Allegiant Stadium, punching their own ticket to the postseason while sending L.A. home. A fast finish to the season, after a slow start, will keep the Raiders in contention until the season finale.