Unprecedented times call for unprecedented schedules. As a result, the Las Vegas Raiders’ three-week homestand (from weeks 14-16) is peak “unprecedented.” The Raiders typically land near the top of miles traveled. So, three straight games at home will certainly be unusual.
The biggest takeaway from this stretch of home games is how late in the season this comes. By Week 14, all teams will have some banged-up players fighting through the pain to help continue their team’s playoff push. Although the team will still have the same number of games in the same number of days if they were away games, not having to travel can give players significantly more time to recover. While less travel helps significantly, the competition also makes this homestand incredibly sweet. From Weeks 14-16, the Raiders welcome the Indianapolis Colts, the Los Angeles Chargers, and the Miami Dolphins; three beatable teams.
Philip Rivers may have left the AFC West, but, to the delight of Erik Harris, he will still find himself squaring off against the Silver and Black. As the Raiders saw last season, the Colts can put up a fight, with or without a healthy lineup. In the 2019 season, the Raiders bested the Colts by a 31-24 score with the Colts missing half of their defensive starters and Andrew Luck. Even with their new addition of Rivers, and a potentially healthy defense, history should repeat itself with a Raiders victory..
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Prediction: Raiders 34-24
Following the Colts’ visit, the Raiders will welcome the Chargers to Allegiant Stadium in their second head-to-head matchup of the season. The Chargers may have downgraded their offense, replacing Philip Rivers and Melvin Gordon with Tyrod Taylor and Austin Ekeler but still have the talent to come back in any game should the opposing defense begin slacking. Speaking of defense, Joey Bosa still exists and still has the ability to give Derek Carr and the Raiders a tough time. A locked-in offensive line and blocking backs are imperative to keep Carr high and dry.
Prediction: Raiders 31-17
To wrap up this glorious homestand, the Raiders will welcome in the Miami Dolphins. While recent history may paint this as an easy victory for the Raiders, the Dolphins are slowly but surely improving. Perhaps not improving quickly enough to be in a playoff hunt at this point in the season, but improving enough to scare some teams. There is also the potential for the former Alabama great Tua Tagovailoa to be starting at this point, which could improve the team even more. That being said, it is hard to see Las Vegas struggling at this point.
Prediction: Raiders 24-17
Overall Homestand Record: 3-0
Las Vegas should win all three games as they enjoy their home cooking, shooting them up the power rankings (provided they do not already find themselves top five) and vastly improving their playoff picture.