The Raiders gave up a home game to play in Mexico City and will take seven road trips into the Central Time Zone and beyond, including four along the eastern seaboard.
Head coach Jack Del Rio just hoped NFL schedule makers would give his Raiders a “fair shake.” The Silver and Black were put in some tough spots last year, including three road games in the first four weeks, a trip to Mexico and a Thursday night affair two times zones away in Kansas City where the Raiders looked flat.
The Raiders' 2017 schedule, which was released on Thursday evening, has more difficulties associated with travel. When giving away a home game, a travel inbalance will always exist. They start the season with three road games in four weeks, and will do so again from Weeks 8-11.
Oakland plays at Buffalo and then Miami, with a bye week separating a home game against New England to be played in Mexico City.
Del Rio requested back-to-back long road trips so the team could stay on the road as they did last season, when they won consecutive games at Jacksonville and at Tampa Bay.
There isn’t something as convenient as that Florida two-step, but it looks like they’ll stay out east between contests at Buffalo and then Miami. If that’s the case, they could use the same Central Florida facilities used a year ago. That travel decision has not been announced.
There's one clear improvement over last season, with a Thursday Night game played at home against Kansas City.
The bye should help prepare for the Patriots, and a home stretch could help them get right before finishing the season with two holiday road games. They play in Philadelphia on Christmas night and the L.A. Chargers on New Year’s Eve to close the season.
Despite some tough stretches, this schedule certainly puts the Raiders in the spotlight.
They’ll be featured in five primetime games, including a Sunday Night home game against Dallas that should be a great matchup and a Thursday Night home against rival Kansas City. They also play Sunday Night games at Washington and Miami and will spend their Christmas on Monday Night Football.