Oakland Raiders

Lights, cameras, Raiders: Oakland to play five prime-time games in 2017

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, center, and defensive end Khalil Mack (52) celebrate a win over the Houston Texans on Nov. 21, 2016, in Mexico City. The Raiders will return to the Mexican capital this season to face the New England Patriots.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, center, and defensive end Khalil Mack (52) celebrate a win over the Houston Texans on Nov. 21, 2016, in Mexico City. The Raiders will return to the Mexican capital this season to face the New England Patriots. Associated Press file

Making the playoffs for the first time in 14 years earned the Raiders a significant prime-time presence for the 2017 season.

The Raiders’ schedule announced Thursday includes three Sunday Night Football games, one Monday Night Football showing and one Thursday night game. And that doesn’t include a return to Mexico City to face the defending champion New England Patriots.

The Raiders will open the season on the road for the second year in a row, traveling to Tennessee to face the Titans on Sept. 10, and play three of their first four games away from home – including a Sunday night matchup at Washington in Week 3.

From there, the schedule is more forgiving. The Raiders will have a short week before hosting the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night in Week 7, but benefit from playing the previous weekend at home against the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Raiders have consecutive road games in Weeks 8 and 9 at Buffalo and Miami. But they could choose to remain on the East Coast between games, like they did last season when they stayed in Florida and practiced at the IMG Academy in Bradenton between visits to Jacksonville and Tampa Bay.

After playing the Miami Dolphins on Sunday night, the Raiders will have their bye week, providing them some extra time to prepare for their trip to Mexico City. That is technically a home game for the Raiders, who last season edged Houston 27-20 before 76,473 fans at Azteca Stadium.

The Raiders are again in the spotlight in Week 15, when they will host the Dallas Cowboys on SNF, and Week 16, when they’ll travel to Philadelphia for a Monday night game with the Eagles on Christmas night. It will mark the Raiders’ first Dec. 25 game since 2004.

In the season finale, the Raiders return to Los Angeles for the first time since returning to Oakland after the 1994 season. They will face the Chargers, who are playing their first season in nearby Carson, on Dec. 31.

The Raiders’ five prime-time games is their most scheduled since the 1970 AFL/NFL merger, assuming they are not flexed out of any of those start times.

Related stories from Sacramento Bee

  Comments