By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
Now that the NFL’s exhibition season has come and gone, it’s time to turn the page to the start of the regular season.
The Oakland Raiders, who went 3-1 in during the exhibition season, will host their bitter rival from the Rocky Mountains in the Denver Broncos in front a nationally televised audience as part of ESPN’s doubleheader on Monday Night Football to close out Week 1. The atmosphere at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum should be electric for what will be the last home opener for the Silver and Black in Oakland.
The Raiders will move to Las Vegas in 2020.
Kickoff is at 7:20 p.m. from 7000 Coliseum Way.
Last week, the Raiders dropped their exhibition season finale, 17-15, in Seattle against the Seahawks with most of the expected starters sitting out the game.
Raiders starting quarterback Derek Carr appeared in just one game, completing 2-of-2 passes for 40 yards and one touchdown while posting a perfect 158.3 passer rating. In 16 games last season, Carr threw for a career-high 4,049 yards to go along with a career-low 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Carr was also sacked a career-high 51 times last season.
With the addition of superstar wide receiver Antonio Brown (via an offseason trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers), Carr has an elite receiver that opposing defenses have to game plan for. In 2018, Brown hauled in 104 catches for 1,297 yards and a league-leading 15 touchdowns in his final season in the Steel City.
It was the sixth-straight season that Brown caught at least 100 passes for 1,200+ yards, extending his own NFL record.
Brown, who didn’t appear in any games during the exhibition season due to frostbitten feet and helmet issues, will make his much anticipated debut in a Raider uniform on Monday night.
This is the second-straight season that the Raiders have opened the regular season in prime-time on Monday Night Football. Last year, the Silver and Black were humbled by the visiting Los Angeles Rams 33-13 in front of a sold out Raider Nation crowd.
The game between the two AFC West foes will mark the second-straight time that the Raiders and Broncos square off on Monday Night Football. Oakland closed out their 2018 home schedule with a 27-14 victory over Denver in Week 16. This will be the first time that the two teams will open up the regular season against each other since 2011, a game that Oakland won a 23-20.
The Raiders lead the all-time series, 63-55-2, with a 33-25 record against the Broncos at home.
After Monday night’s game, the Raiders will host another AFC West rival, the Kansas City Chiefs, in Week 2. Oakland will hit the road for games against the Minnesota Vikings and Indianapolis Colts, kicking off a 49-day stretch that the Raiders will be away from the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.