Raiders Stifle Saints:
Collect First Win in Allegiant Stadium
by Devin Virissimo
Las Vegas loves winners, especially when they win in prime time while showing off their brand new $1.8B home. While they may not have gotten the first points in the “Death Star”, they got the most with a 34-24 victory over the defending NFC South Champion New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football.
Saints Super Bowl MVP quarterback Drew Brees has broken several records on Monday Night, but it was three-time Pro-Bowler Derek Carr front and center, leading the way for the Silver and Black with 284 yards and three touchdowns.
(via Getty Images)
Shortly after the game, Carr was able to put the first piece of appropriate graffiti in the stadium by placing his signature, along with the date and score of the first Raiders win in Allegiant Stadium.
Remaining undefeated (3-0) in their new stadiums upon relocation since the merger, The Raiders improve to 2-0 for the first time since 2017 and remain in position with Kansas City at the top of the AFC West. New Orleans falls to 1-1, still tied for first place with Tampa Bay.
Darren Waller proved to be too much for the Saints defense as he connected with Carr for 103 yards on 12 catches and a touchdown.
Drafted by the Ravens in the sixth round of the 2015 draft, Waller has battled substance abuse and suspensions from the league during his rise to becoming an exceptional tight-end.
He is coming off his best season last year when he finished with 1145 yards on 90 receptions and three touchdowns.
(via Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)
(via Isaac Brekken/AP)
“I would take him over any tight end.”
Jon Gruden, Raiders head coach and Waller’s number one fan post-game. A bold statement in bold given the talented players that occupy that position in their own division, let alone the league.
Now in his third-year in his second stint with the Raiders, Gruden has put the team in the best position to overcome an early 10-point deficit in the second quarter by scoring on six of their next seven drives.
The lone miscue, a fumble by Carr on a toss to Jalen Richard, giving the Saints prime field position at their 40 yard line down by a touchdown at the start of the fourth quarter.
The Saints were unable to create any true momentum after starting the first half with 6.7 yards a carry. Brees continued to complete only short passes without truly threatening with the deep ball, giving many critics talking points on the 41-year old quarterback.
Another talking point would be the Saints continued struggle with penalty yards. The team accrued 129 penalty yards on 10 infractions, most notable the 29 for pass interference with just over two minutes remaining in the fourth before Carr would set up Daniel Carlson for the eventual game-sealing 54-yard field goal.
Next week features a trip back to New England where Raiders fans get to voice their grievances over the “Tuck Rule” that would help the Patriots win their first Super Bowl in 2002.
(via USA Today)
Now with Cam Newton under center for Bill Belichick, the Patriots are 1-1 and have the tenth best offense to pit against the Raiders 25th best defense.
The last time these two teams met was in week 11 of 2017 as Brady put on a clinic towards the 33-8 beatdown in Mexico City.
This time around, Gruden knows Newton is still a major threat, aptly naming him “Slam Newton” in a recent press conference.
Newton currently has more passing yards than Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, more rushing yards than 2019 Pro-Bowler Dalvin Cook, and more rushing touchdowns than three-time Pro-Bowler and All-Pro Ezekiel Elliot.
The Patriots are currently favored by six points at home according to Caesars, but at the Raiders current pace, they could be the first team to make the playoffs upon relocation since they moved to Los Angeles in 1982.