The Las Vegas Raiders opened their new home with a win over the New Orleans Saints, 34-24. Derek Carr led his team to a triumph at the Allegiant Stadium, with the Raiders coming back following a 10-point minus.
“Derek Carr was awesome tonight,” Raiders’ head coach Jon Gruden said. “He made some plays today that very few guys that I’ve coached could make. I tip my hat to him.”
Carr ended the night with 28 completions in 38 passes, for 282 yards, threw three touchdown passes, and fumbled the ball twice. But in the critical moments, his red-zone execution was superb, while also moving down the chains pretty well.
The Raiders lost the first quarter 10-0, and the Saints were up after that 17-7, but Carr’s performance led to a tie at the halftime, 17-17.
Alvin Kamara was the driving force of the guests, with the talented RB scoring the first TD of the game, pulling away his team to a 10 to nothing lead. Previously, Wil Lutz hit a 31-yard FG.
Carr responded with two TDs in the second period. Alec Ingold and Zay Jones both caught his passes to score, and to bring back Las Vegas into this contest. Jared Cook’s six-yard reception for a TD was sandwiched with these two situations.
As time expired, Daniel Carlson tied the result at 17-all with a 28-yard FG.
Darren Waller was inspired in this one, catching 12 passes for 103 yards, and he opened the second half with a one-yard TD that would put his Raiders on top for the first time this Monday night. That was the only worthy situation in the third period.
Carr didn’t provide any TD tosses in the final period, but the Raiders scored 10 points anyway. At first, Jalen Richards rushed for a 20-yard TD, and Carlson’s 54-yard FG put an end on last night’s contest.
Kamara, whom we mentioned previously, had another TD, with 4:33 to go. That was a three-yard run, which brought the Saints to a one-possession distance, 31-24. They couldn’t come back, and that is mostly because they relied upon Kamara only.
Truth to be told, the 25-year old was superb, yielding 174 yards from the scrimmage. He had two rushing TDs, and 79 yards on 13 snaps, while on the other hand producing 95 receiving yards on 9 receptions.
Drew Brees was below his usual level, with one touchdown pass, and one pick. The veteran threw for 312 yards, 26-for-38, but wasn’t as confident as expected.
“Are we totally in sync right now? No, we’re not. We’re not even close to where we are capable of. Not even close,” said Brees. “We did some good things early on, but it just wasn’t enough for the few opportunities that we had.”
Brees played without his top target, Michael Thomas, who skipped this event due to an ankle injury. After four seasons in which he didn’t miss a single game, this one was first for Thomas.
The Saints now have two games against the NFC North teams. The Green Bay Packers are coming to town next week, led by Aaron Rodgers and his crew. After that, New Orleans hits the road and heads way up north, to Detroit to meet the struggling Lions and Matt Stafford.
As for the Raiders, the next match is against the New England Patriots on the road, and after that, they will wait for the Buffalo Bills at home.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.