While Mark Davis and the Oakland Raiders continue to capture headlines regarding their relocation scenario with Las Vegas, the NFL still has to proceed with scheduling for the upcoming 2017-18 regular season.
The temporary NFL regular season slate of games have been released for next season, with the official dates and times to be released in April when the full regular season schedules are published. But as was the case with the 2016 season, the Raiders are giving up a home game of sorts.
The NFL announced on Wednesday that the Raiders will have yet another game in Mexico City next season, via ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
Patriots play Raiders in Mexico City next season. Considered a home game for Oakland.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 1, 2017
If the Patriots were to win Super Bowl LI on Sunday, it would feature a matchup in Mexico City between a Super Bowl favorite for 2017 and the Super Bowl winners, the first time a Super Bowl champion has played outside of the United States.
The Raiders had a thrilling 27-20 win over the Houston Texans in Mexico City this season, led by another Derek Carr fourth quarter comeback. With an obvious home field advantage, the Texans faced some difficulties, but played with a lead during the first three quarters before ultimately falling to the Raiders.
During the previous season, the Raiders benefitted in some ways from back-to-back matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as both games were in Florida. Head coach Jack Del Rio and the team decided to stay in Florida for 10 days, to ease the travel situation. The Raiders could possibly mimic that next season, if they had consecutive games against the Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Redskins for example.
The organization will face off against the NFC East, AFC East and one team from the AFC South and AFC North. While the Raiders are unsure what their status is regarding home locations for the next season, they still have eight contests to worry about.
Five of their eight home contests next season are against playoff teams, as they play the New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens, New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys and Patriots (Mexico City) outside of the AFC West.
Their road games (besides the AFC West) have them pitted against the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles and Tennessee Titans.