Game Thread: Las Vegas Raiders vs. New Orleans Saints
Hondo S. Carpenter, Sr.
The Las Vegas Raiders (1-0) open Allegiant Stadium today, entertaining the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football.
The casinos have this game as a Raiders loss. The "experts" are saying that the Saints are sitting at -5.5.
Here are several critical points to this game, courtesy of Raider Maven writer Darin Baydoun:
1. Nelson Agholor
The former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver caught quarterback Derek Carr’s only touchdown pass last Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. With Henry Ruggs III a non-participant at practice on Thursday due to a knee injury, the depth of the Raiders receiving core could be tested early this season.
Even if Ruggs plays, he could be used more as a decoy due to the injury. It would mean that Agholor gets a significant opportunity on a big stage. If he can step up, it would mean a big difference against a game Saints defense.
2. Clelin Ferrell
It might seem strong to call a former fourth overall pick an X-factor, but Ferrell so far in his young career has struggled with consistency.
Ferrell made a big impact last week in being on the game-saving 4th- and-1 tackle at the end of the game against Carolina, and for the Raiders defense to succeed against the Saints, they will need players like him to put pressure on quarterback Drew Brees.
The Raiders likely can’t afford to only have one sack in a game against one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. They’ll need pressure, and if Ferrell can bring that along with his other linemates, the Raiders defense should be able to hang in this game.
3. Nicholas Morrow
With starting linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski not expected to be healthy for the game on Monday, it probably will fall to backup Nicholas Morrow.
Morrow hasn’t missed a game for the Raiders over the first three years of his career and based on the number of snaps (46) he played in Week 1 against the Panthers, it looks like he’d be the next man up to fill the middle next to Cory Littleton.
Sports Illustrated's Raider Maven publisher Hondo Carpenter and Hikaru Kudo will keep you updated with the latest analysis, highlights, and plenty more in this official game thread.
Please keep refreshing the page and make sure you comment below. Our long wait is over. Are you ready for some football?
How to watch or listen to the big game?
Radio: Raider Nation Radio
Odds: Saints -5.5
3:31 PM PT
UPDATE: 3"50 PM PT Raiders Release Inactive list:
Take a behind the scenes look at what it took to build this palatial palace:
UPDATE: 7:44 PM ET/4:44 PM PT If you missed my pregame interview on Raider Nation Radio here you go:
Classy tribute to the city of Oakland from Josh Jacobs
"Give me everything you got and let's see what happens" - Derek Carr
One final view of Allegiant Stadium before the game.
Al Davis's wife, Carol Davis has lit the Al Davis Memorial Torch for the first time in Las Vegas.
UPDATE: For the second week straight, not one Las Vegas Raider Knelt during the national anthem.
COIN TOSS: Raiders win toss, defers. Saints will receive the kick-off
UPDATE 5:18 PM PDT - Raiders Johnathan Abram nearly intercepts the football. Result of play - Incompletion.
PENALTY UPDATE - 5:20 PM PDT - 12:24 left in the first quarter - Holding on Damon Arnette - First down Saints
SCORING UPDATE - 5:23 PM PDT - Placekicker Will Lutz drills one through the uprights. Saints lead 3-0. 11:01 left to go in the first quarter.
UPDATE 5:29 PM PDT - 8:18 left to go in the first quarter - A quick drive for the Raiders, first possession cut short due to a sack by Safety Malcolm Jenkins. Saints lead 3-0.
PENALTY UPDATE - 5:33 PM PDT - Holding called on Johnathan Hankins. Five-yard penalty. First down Saints.
UPDATE 5:37 PM PDT - Wide Receiver Tre'Quan Smith is left wide open in the mid-field. A 29-yard gain by the Saints. First down Saints.
INJURY UPDATE 5:40 PM PDT - Safety Johnathan Abram is injured off the field. Abram is seen walking off on his own power. He sprinted over to the sideline.
INJURY UPDATE 5:42 PM PDT - Linebacker Kyle Wilbur was injured on the last play, stopping the Saints from scoring a touchdown. Third down coming up.
SCORING UPDATE - 5:44 PM PDT - Running back Alvin Kamara punches through the Raiders defensive line with help from beautiful blocks by his teammates.
A personal foul called on the Johnathan Hankins. Play is followed by a illegal formation by the Saints. Ball is placed at the Raiders 20-yard line. PAT is GOOD. Result of sequence: Saints with touchdown and PAT. Saints lead 10-0.
PENALTY UPDATE: 5:52 PM PDT - 2:15 left in the first - Holding called on center Richie Incognito. Saints decline the penalty.
That sack at the 2:15 mark was on Derek. Held the ball too long and had an open man. OL got a holding penalty, but that is on him.
PENALTY UPDATE: 5:58 PM PDT - 0:22 left in the first quarter - Wide receiver Jared Cook with offensive pass interference. Fourth down Saints.
END OF FIRST QUARTER - 5:59 PDT - Saints lead 10-0 in Las Vegas. 2nd and 1 on the Raiders own 46 yard-line.
PENALTY UPDATE - 6:06 PM PDT - 11:08 left in the first half - C.J. Gardner-Johnson commits a holding penalty on Raiders Ruggs. Five-yard penalty. First down Raiders.
SCORING UPDATE - 6:09 PM PDT - Fullback Alec Ingold catches a three-yard pass for the touchdown. Daniel Carlson's PAT is good. Raiders score for the first time in Allegiant Stadium. Saints lead 10-7.
INJURY UPDATE - 6:14 PM PDT - 8:55 left in the second quarter - Saints Guard Nick Easton is injured on the field.
SCORING UPDATE - 6:20 PM PDT - 5:22 left in the half - Tight end Jared Cook catches a 6-yard pass for a touchdown. PAT is good. Saints lead 17-7.
INJURY UPDATE - 6:23 PM PDT - Center Richie Incognito is questionable to return. Raiders cite an Achilles injury.
PENALTY UPDATE - 6:30 PM PDT - Prior to the two-minute warning, neutral zone infraction by Saints Trey Hendrickson. 5-yard penalty. 1st and five. It is the two minute warning
TWO MINUTE WARNING - 6:31 PM PDT - Saints lead 17-7.
SCORING UPDATE - 6:36 PM PDT - 1:44 left to go in the first half- Wide Receiver Zay Jones for a 15-yard touchdown reception. PAT is good. Saints lead 17-14.
TURNOVER - 6:41 PM PDT - 0:48 left in the half - Linebacker Nicholas Murrow with a huge turnover in mid-field.
SCORING UPDATE - 6:46 PM PDT - 0:04 seconds left in the half - Placekicker Daniel Carlson kicks a 28-yard field goal in the uprights. The game is tied heading into the locker room. 17-17 Raiders and Saints.
HALFTIME - 6:47 PM PDT - Raiders and Saints are tied 17-17
It was a super inconsistent half by the Silver and Black.
First possession, Johnathan Abram had an interception attempt right in front of him that he missed. In addition, Brees offense literally worked throughout the field. Running back Alvin Kamara was allowed outside and in. The linebackers broke down including an 18-yard gain by wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith.
The Saints offense definitely did their homework.
In the first possession for the Raiders offense, the Raiders struggled as well. Besides a couple of quick runs on the ground by running back Josh Jacobs, the Raiders were shut down. Quarterback Derek Carr was sacked by the first time this season by safety Malcolm Jenkins.
One of the primary weapons for the Saints is Kamara. With the loss of wide receiver Michael Thomas, Kamara is even more important on the ground.
He had a total of 60 yards in nine carries and 23 yards in two receptions.
The Raiders have to find a stop for Kamara because he was walking all over the Raiders in the first half.
In general, the Raiders defense wasn’t anything special in the first half. The Saints were killing the Raiders on the ground game, couldn’t stay tight to men, giving up 80 yards to wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith alone.
Luckily the Raiders defense was rejuvenated a little bit with an interception from linebacker Nicholas Murrow at the end of the half.
But the negative play was still relevant. In addition to the defense, the offensive line broke down. They allowed three sacks on Carr. Granted, it wasn’t entirely the offensive lines fault as some were coverage sacks.
However, there were bright sides for the Raiders.
One thing that was somewhat working for the Silver and Black was running back Josh Jacobs, who ran for a total of 26 yards in 11 carries. He caught 2 catches for 15 yards.
But the Raiders can’t win when Jacobs is doing all the work.
And it took them a quarter to figure that out.
Just look at how the tight ends got the game going in the second quarter when Carr was able to find them. Short plays set up long plays. A threat in the short field sets up a threat and a chance for Carr to throw long down the field.
Tight end Darren Waller got his wheels rolling in the second quarter, including a 13-yard first-down catch which set up a three-yard receiving touchdown for fullback Alec Ingold.
Once the gears got rolling for the offense, Jon Gruden’s tricks started working. Who in the Saints world would expect Carr to throw it to his fullback?
Wide receivers Nelson Agholor and Hunter Renfrow both got their first touches on the football. Both went 12+ yards for a first down.
Wide Receiver Bryan Edwards was active in the first half as well, receiving two passes for 42 total yards. Edwards, someone who opponents tend to overlook, showed his value to the Silver and Black.
The end of this possession was another touchdown, this time caught by wide receiver Zay Jones. A couple of unexpected guys scoring touchdowns.
But remember, it’s all about finding a way to win.
Tight ends open up wide receivers for the Raiders. The Silver and Black have to do it more. They have to spread their Saints defense consistently.
This isolates the wide receivers. Once the primary targets, such as wide receiver Henry Ruggs III is constantly covered, it opens up unexpected players such as Jones and Ingold.
The offense needs to continue the momentum they created in the second quarter. The defense needs to feed off of Morrow’s interception and hit a reset button in the locker room.
Despite the inconsistencies, the Raiders still managed to tie it all up, 17-17 in the first half.
BEGINNING OF THIRD QUARTER - 7:00 PM PDT - Raiders will receive the ball in the second half.
PENALTY UPDATE - 7:05 PM PDT - Pass interference called on cornerback Marshon Lattimore. First down Raiders on their own 49-yard line.
SCORING UPDATE - 7:11 PM PDT - A near third-down turnover turns into a one-yard receiving touchdown to tight end Darren Waller. PAT is good. Raiders now lead the Saints for the first time tonight, 24-17.
PENALTY UPDATE - 7:17 PM PDT - Saints Josh Hill is being looked at on the field.
PENALTY UPDATE - 7:20 PM PDT - Holding called on the Saints guard Eric McCoy. 10-yard penalty.
PENALTY UPDATE - 7:22 PM PDT - Holding called against right tackle Ryan Ramczyk. Maxx Crosby beat him and Ramczyk held on to Crosby. 10-yard penalty. Second down Saints.
PENALTY UPDATE - Personal foul on wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. Illegal Blindside block. 15-yard penalty, 2nd and 31 for the Saints.
PENALTY UPDATE: 7:28 PM PDT - 5:44 left in the third quarter - Illegal block in the back, running back Jalen Richard. Half the distance to the goal. First down.
PENALTY UPDATE: 7:35 PM PDT - Saints Trey Hendrickson is called for roughing the passer. 15-yard penalty. First down Raiders.
INJURY UPDATE: 7:38 PM PDT - Raiders Center Richie Incognito has been ruled OUT of tonight's contest.
END OF THIRD QUARTER - 7:40 PM PDT - Raiders lead Saints 24-17. Ball on New Orleans 42-yard line. First down Raiders.
TURNOVER - 7:44 PM PDT - Running back Jalen Richard fumbles the football. Saints P.J. Williams recovers the ball on their own 40-yard line. 14:06 left to go in regulation.
INJURY UPDATE - 7:49 PM PDT - Guard Andrus Peat is seen kneeling on the field.
PENALTY UPDATE - 7:53 PM PDT - Holding against Saints Latavius Murray. Raiders decline the penalty. 4th and 7 coming up.
INJURY UPDATE - 7:58 PM PDT - Wide Receiver Hunter Renfrow was shaken up in the last play. He is on his feet and walked off on his own power. He is being checked out on the sidelines right now.
CHALLENGE - Sean Payton challenges wide receiver Hunter Renfrow's reception. Payton is arguing that Renfrow fumbled the football. Payton loses the challenge. Renfrow's reception is confirmed.
SCORING UPDATE - 8:04 PM PDT - Raiders running back Jalen Richard scores a 20-yard rushing touchdown. PAT is good. Raiders lead the Saints 31-17.
PENALTY UPDATE - 8:12 PM PDT - Illegal use of hands of face against Clelin Ferrell. Saints decline the penalty. First down Saints.
SCORING UPDATE - 8:13 PM PDT - Saints Alvin Kamara rush for a three-yard touchdown. PAT is good. Raiders lead 31-14 with 4:33 left to go in regulation.
PENALTY UPDATE - 8:19 PM PDT - Pass interference on Saints Janoris Jenkins. Ball Is spotted at the Saints 36-yard line. First down Raiders.
TWO MINUTE WARNING - Raiders lead 31-24.
SCORING UPDATE - 8:25 PM PDT - Placekicker Daniel Carlson nails tied career-high 54-yard field goal. Raiders lead 34-24.
FINAL - Raiders win 34-24. The historic home opener for the Las Vegas Raiders results in a victory for Raider Nation. The Silver and Black are now 2-0 on the season.
Tell us what you think in the comment section below and please make sure you like our Facebook Page WHEN YOU CLICK RIGHT HERE.
Want the latest breaking Las Vegas Raiders news delivered straight to your email for FREE? Sign up for the DAILY Raiders Nation newsletter when you CLICK THE FOLLOW button on the main page. Don't miss any of the latest up to the second updates for your Las Vegas Raiders when you follow on Twitter @HondoCarpenter, @HikaruKudo1