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A closer look at Raiders’ 2020 opponents

Carolina Panthers

When: Sunday, Sept. 13, 10 a.m., Charlotte, N.C.

2019 record: 5-11, fourth place, NFC South

Series history: 3-3

Last meeting: Nov. 27, 2016; Raiders, 35-32; Sebastian Janikowski hit a 23-yard field goal with 1:45 left to give the Raiders a victory in a game in which Khalil Mack recorded a sack and returned an interception for a touchdown.

What’s new? Cam Newton is out and Teddy Bridgewater is in at quarterback under new coach Matt Rhule. Draft picks Derrick Brown and Yetur Gross-Matos hope to make an immediate impact on the defensive line. Explosive receiver Robby Anderson also gets a fresh start.

Early R-J prediction: Raiders 24-23

New Orleans Saints

When: Monday, Sept. 21, 5:15 p.m., Allegiant Stadium

2019 record: 13-3, first place, NFC South

Series history: 6-6-1

Last meeting: Sept. 11, 2016; Raiders 35-34; The Raiders elected to go for a 2-point conversion and the lead after Derek Carr found Seth Roberts for a 10-yard touchdown in the final minute. Carr then hit Michael Crabtree for the conversion and the Week 1 win.

■ What’s new?: WR Emmanuel Sanders was brought in to team with prolific pass catcher Michael Thomas. Malcolm Jenkins also returned to his original NFL team after a stint in Philadelphia. The Saints also filled holes with interior offensive lineman Cesar Ruiz and linebacker Zack Baun in the draft.

Early R-J prediction: Saints 34-28

New England Patriots

When: Sunday, Sept. 27, 10 a.m., Foxborough, Mass.

2019 record: 12-4, first place, AFC East

Series history: Patriots lead 19-15-1

Last meeting: Nov. 19, 2017; Patriots, 33-8; Tom Brady completed 30 of 37 passes for 340 yards, including 149 to Brandin Cooks. The Patriots opened up a 30-0 lead after three quarters in Mexico City.

What’s new? The Patriots enter the season a new starting quarterback for the first time in two decades. Jarrett Stidham appears to be the next man up. New England also says goodbye to kicker Stephen Gostkowski.

Early R-J prediction: Patriots 17-13

Buffalo Bills

When: Sunday, Oct. 4, 1:25 p.m., Allegiant Stadium

2019 record: 10-6, second place, AFC East

Series history: Raiders lead 21-20

Last meeting: Oct. 29, 2017; Bills, 34-14; Tyrod Taylor, who is now with the rival Chargers, threw for a touchdown and ran for another as the Bills cruised to the victory on a rainy day in Orchard Park, N.Y.

What’s new? The Bills hope a trade for star receiver Stefon Diggs will help fix quarterback Josh Allen’s accuracy issue, They did, however, select Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm in the draft. Buffalo also added cornerback Josh Norman.

Early R-J prediction: Raiders 17-6

Kansas City Chiefs

When: Sunday Oct. 11, 10 a.m., Kansas City; Sunday, Nov. 22, 5:20 p.m., Allegiant Stadium

2019 record: 12-4, first place AFC West

Series history: Chiefs lead 67-53-2

Last meeting: Dec. 1, 2019; Chiefs, 40-9: Kansas City led 31-0 after three quarters despite a pedestrian game from Patrick Mahomes. Derek Carr threw for two touchdowns, including one that was returned 46 yards for a touchdown by the Chiefs’ Juan Thornhill.

What’s new? Not much. The Chiefs restructured a couple deals to free up cap space to keep guys and added a bit of depth in free agency. They also added a potential impact player by grabbing LSU RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the draft.

Early R-J prediction: Chiefs 38-20 (K.C.); Chiefs 31-28 (LV)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

When: Sunday, Oct. 25, 5:20 p.m., Allegiant Stadium

2019 record: 7-9, tied second place, NFC South

Series history: Raiders lead 7-3

Last meeting: Oct. 30, 2016; Raiders 30-24 (OT); The Raiders tied the game with less than two minutes left in regulation, then Derek Carr connected with Seth Roberts on a 41-yard touchdown with less than two minutes to play in overtime.

What’s new? The Bucs replaced quarterback Jameis Winston with Tom Brady. He brought his own tight end with him in Rob Gronkowski. There might be a little bit of excitement about this team going into the season.

Early R-J prediction: Raiders 28-27

Cleveland Browns

When: Sunday, Nov. 1, 1:05 p.m., Cleveland

2019 record: 6-10, third place, AFC North

Series history: Raiders lead 15-10

Last meeting: Sept. 30, 2018; Raiders, 45-42 (OT); Derek Carr threw a 7-yard TD pass to Jared Cook with 30 seconds to play, then found Jordy Nelson for a 2-point conversion to tie the game. Matt McCrane made a 29-yard field goal in overtime to win it.

What’s new? Tight end Austin Hooper gives the Browns yet another dynamic weapon, Cleveland also added former Raiders safety Karl Joseph.

Early R-J prediction: Browns 34-27

Los Angeles Chargers

When: Sunday, Nov. 8, 1:05 p.m., Inglewood, Calif.; Thursday, Dec. 17, 5:20 p.m., Allegiant Stadium

2019 record: 5-11, fourth place, AFC West

Series history: Raiders lead 65-54-2

Last meeting: Dec. 22, 2019; Raiders, 24-17; Derek Carr completed 26 of 30 passes for 291 yards and a touchdown, adding a rushing score to help the Raiders finish off the season sweep.

What’s new? Justin Herbert was drafted as the quarterback of the future. They also solidified the right side of the line, acquiring Trai Turner and Bryan Bulaga. On defense the Chargers added cornerback Chris Harris Jr. and defensive tackle Linval Joseph. UCLA’s Joshua Kelley was drafted to share the backfield with Austin Ekeler.

Early R-J prediction: Chargers 24-14 (L.A.); Raiders 21-17 (LV)

Denver Broncos

When: Sunday, Nov. 15, 1:05 p.m., Allegiant Stadium; Sunday, Jan. 3, 1:25 p.m., Denver

2019 record: 7-9, tie for second place, AFC West

Series history: Raiders lead 65-54-2

Last meeting: Dec. 29, 2019; Broncos, 16-15; The Raiders entered the season finale with an outside shot at the playoffs, but that had gone away by the time of an unsuccessful 2-point conversion in the final seconds.

What’s new? The Broncos showed confidence in quarterback Drew Lock by surrounding him with weapons in the draft, starting with potential star receiver Jerry Jeudy in the first round. They also solidified the defense by trading picks for defensive tackle Jurrell Casey and cornerback A.J. Bouye. The Broncos also added Melvin Gordon at running back.

Early R-J prediction: Raiders 27-23 (LV); Broncos 30-17 (Denver)

Atlanta Falcons

When: Sunday, Nov. 29, 10 a.m., Atlanta

2019 record: 7-9, tied for second place, NFC South

Series history: 7-7

Last meeting: Sept. 18, 2016; Falcons, 35-28; Matt Ryan threw for 396 yards and three touchdowns to three different receivers to lead Atlanta to a road win.

What’s new? They lost tight end Austin Hooper to a massive deal in free agency, but brought in Hayden Hurst. Running back Todd Gurley could be a key acquisition, and Dante Fowler should be an impact pass rusher. The Falcons also filled a need by drafting cornerback A.J. Terrell from Clemson in the first round.

Early R-J prediction: Falcons 28-20

New York Jets

When: Sunday, Dec. 6, 10 a.m., East Rutherford, N.J.

2019 record: 7-9, third place, AFC East

Series history: Raiders lead 25-20-2

Last meeting: Nov. 24, 2019; Jets, 34-3; The Raiders went to New York harboring playoff hopes, but came away with a humbling loss after one of the worst performances of the season.

What’s new? Newly acquired wide receiver Breshad Perriman is coming off an incredible December for Tampa Bay . New York also landed receiver Denzel Mims in the draft and rebuilt the offensive line, including the selection of massive tackle Mekhi Becton in the first round.

Early R-J prediction: Jets 21-10

Indianapolis Colts

When: Sunday, Dec. 13, 1:05 p.m., Allegiant Stadium

2019 record: 7-9, third place, AFC South

Series history: Raiders lead 10-8

Last meeting: Sept. 29, 2019; Raiders, 31-24; Erik Harris helped thwart a Colts’ comeback attempt in Indianapolis when he returned an interception 30 yards for a score with 2:09 to play.

What’s new? The Colts signed Philip Rivers to be their new signal-caller. Indianapolis also traded for All-Pro DeForest Buckner to lock down the middle of the defensive line.

Early R-J prediction: Raiders 41-14

Miami Dolphins

■ Date, time, location, Saturday or Sunday, Dec. 26 or 27, time TBD, Allegiant Stadium

2019 record: 5-11, fourth place, AFC East

Series history: Raiders lead 20-18-1

Last meeting: Sept. 23, 2018; Dolphins, 28-20; Albert Wilson threw for a touchdown and caught another in the fourth quarter as Miami rallied from a 17-7 deficit to hand the Raiders their third straight loss to open the season.

■ What’s new: A lot. QB Tua Tagovailoa, the first-round pick, may not start early but is the future face of the franchise. Jordan Howard and Matt Brieda will form a dynamic duo in the backfield, and Miami also brought in prized CB Byron Jones.

Early R-J prediction: Raiders 30-27


Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

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