Sporting News’ NFL predictions for the 2020 season have been made with the understanding that the pro football landscape almost surely will be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in some way through the fall and winter.
So predictions regarding how all teams including the Raiders will finish in the 2020 NFL standings and beyond are more of a crap shoot than usual. We have no choice but to operate with the roster and schedule knowledge we have of all 32 teams heading into what will be a strange season.
Based on NFL senior writer Vinnie Iyer’s game picks for the entire 2020 season, SN is projecting that the Raiders’ first season in Las Vegas will be just like their last season in Oakland. Even though the Raiders have strong talent, their schedule is rough.
Below are Iyer’s predictions for the Raiders in 2020, plus how Vegas oddsmakers view their chances to win the Super Bowl.
MORE NFL PREDICTIONS:
SN’s complete 2020 standings projections & playoff picks
Raiders record prediction for 2020
- Record: 7-9
- Division: 4th in AFC West
- Playoffs: N/A
Iyer’s take: The Raiders have a good offensive plan with Jon Gruden and Greg Olson. Derek Carr has more help at wide receiver and tight end. The defense is much better with the additions of Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkowski.
But they’re unfortunately still stuck in a division with the Chiefs, Broncos and Chargers while facing a tough schedule, which will curb the enthusiasm of the first Las Vegas season.
Haislop’s take: The Raiders improved significantly in the second year of Gruden’s current stint, and their offensive reinforcements (see Henry Ruggs) feel timely. They also have a motivated quarterback in Derek Carr who’s in a bit of a make-or-break season.
Much of the Raiders’ success or failure will fall on the QB, but if he plays well, don’t be surprised to see the Raiders flirt with a playoff appearance again in their first Vegas year. Everything else needed for a postseason run seems to be in place around Carr.
Raiders odds for 2020 win total, Super Bowl
According to the odds at Sports Insider, the Raiders are most likely to finish somewhere between 5-11 and 9-7 this season.
The defending Super Bowl-champion Chiefs are the obvious favorites to win the AFC West, but the division is a crap shoot after that on the odds board. Denver and Las Vegas are tied behind Kansas City at +800, with Los Angeles close behind at +1000.
Raiders schedule 2020
Assuming the 2020 NFL schedule remains intact without any pandemic-related adjustments, the Raiders will play the 21st toughest schedule in the NFL based on opponents’ 2019 winning percentage.
In reality, though, Las Vegas’ schedule is tougher. The Raiders draw the NFC South in the schedule rotation just in time for the Buccaneers to trot out Tom Brady, not to mention the challenges the Saints and Falcons present. If the Raiders can get to their Week 6 bye with at least two wins, it should be considered a good start.
Below is the Raiders’ complete schedule for the 2020 season.
|Week||Date||Opponent||Kickoff time (ET)||TV|
|1||Sept. 13||at Carolina Panthers||1 p.m.||CBS|
|2||Sept. 21 (Monday)||New Orleans Saints||8:15 p.m.||ESPN|
|3||Sept. 27||at New England Patriots||1 p.m.||CBS|
|4||Oct. 4||Buffalo Bills||4:25 p.m.||CBS|
|5||Oct. 11||at Kansas City Chiefs||1 p.m.||CBS|
|7||Oct. 25||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||8:20 p.m.||NBC|
|8||Nov. 1||at Cleveland Browns||1 p.m.||Fox|
|9||Nov. 8||at Los Angeles Chargers||4:05 p.m.||Fox|
|10||Nov. 15||Denver Broncos||4:05 p.m.||CBS|
|11||Nov. 22||Kansas City Chiefs||8:20 p.m.||NBC|
|12||Nov. 29||at Atlanta Falcons||1 p.m.||CBS|
|13||Dec. 6||at New York Jets||1 p.m.||CBS|
|14||Dec. 13||Indianapolis Colts||4:05 p.m.||CBS|
|15||Dec. 17 (Thursday)||Los Angeles Chargers||8:20 p.m.||Fox/NFLN|
|16||Dec. 26/27||Miami Dolphins||TBD||TBD|
|17||Jan. 3||at Denver Broncos||4:25 p.m.||CBS|