By Steve Corkran
Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 at 4:15 pm in Oakland Raiders.
The Raiders learned Tuesday afternoon that their 2012 regular season begins with a Monday night game against the San Diego Chargers at the Coliseum.
The Raiders get their first look at quarterback Peyton Manning in a Denver Broncos uniform on Sept. 30 in Denver. That game also marks a return home for first-year Raiders coach Dennis Allen, who was the Broncos defensive coordinator last season.
Oakland’s 10th game, Nov. 18 at home, comes against a New Orleans Saints team in the midst of dealing with a bounty scandal that resulted in coach Sean Payton being suspended for the season.
Every team plays at least one game on Thursday night this season. For the Raiders, that game is against the Broncos on Dec. 6, and it comes in the middle game of a three-game stretch in which the Raiders play at home.
“I like the fact that … we don’t have any back-to-back road games until we get to the end of the year,” Allen said in a conference call. “I like the fact that we get three back-to-back-to-back home games right there in the stretch run until we have to go on the road to finish out the year. Obviously, getting the chance to play at home late in the year is an advantage.”
Another game of note is Nov. 25, when the Raiders play the Cincinnati Bengals on the road.
That game features the fist return to Cincinnati for Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer, who began his NFL career with the Bengals and played there until he was traded to the Raiders last season.
The Bengals game also marks the first time the Raiders will see former coach Hue Jackson, who now is a Bengals assistant coach.
The Raiders bye week comes after four games. That places them in the unenviable position of finishing the season with 12 straight games.
The Raiders three straight home games late in the season bodes well for them if they are in playoff contention at the time. Those games are against the Cleveland Browns, Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs. Even better for the Raiders, their Thursday night game comes on the heels of a home game.
The Raiders open and close their regular season with games against the Chargers. The Raiders played their regular-season finale against the Chargers last season in a game the Chargers won. This time, the game is in San Diego.
Monday, September 10 SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 7:15 p.m. ESPN
Sunday, September 16 at Miami Dolphins 1:15 p.m. CBS
Sunday, September 23 PITTSBURGH STEELERS 1:15 p.m. CBS
Sunday, September 30 at Denver Broncos 1:05 p.m. CBS
Sunday, October 7 BYE
Sunday, October 14 at Atlanta Falcons 10:00 a.m. CBS
Sunday, October 21 JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS 1:15 p.m. CBS
Sunday, October 28 at Kansas City Chiefs 1:05 p.m. CBS
Sunday, November 4 TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 1:05 p.m. FOX
Sunday, November 11 at Baltimore Ravens 10:00 a.m. CBS
Sunday, November 18 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS *1:05 p.m. FOX
Sunday, November 25 at Cincinnati Bengals *10:00 a.m. CBS
Sunday, December 2 CLEVELAND BROWNS *1:15 p.m. CBS
Thursday, December 6 DENVER BRONCOS 5:20 p.m. NFLN
Sunday, December 16 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS *1:15 p.m. CBS
Sunday, December 23 at Carolina Panthers *10:00 a.m. CBS
Sunday, December 30 at San Diego Chargers *1:15 p.m. CBS