First Look: Saints vs. Raiders

John Hendrix

The New Orleans Saints (1-0) meet the Las Vegas Raiders (1-0) on Monday Night Football to close out Week 2. Unfortunately, no fans will be able to witness the new marvel that is Allegiant Stadium in person, but the new 'Black Hole' will host the black and gold, who seeks their first 2-0 start since 2013. Here's our first look at some areas and storylines we'll be watching leading up to Monday.

What to Watch For

How will the New Orleans offense respond after Week 1? The Saints offense wasn't particularly good on Sunday, seeing struggles in all sorts of areas. We shouldn't judge the offense solely based off that one outing, especially being they put up 34 points without it being its normal self. Brees looked off-target more than a few times, while the run game struggled on the outside. We should have expected some of this, as the Bucs defensive front 7 is very good, and the Saints weren't naive to this going on. What matters now is how they respond against the Raiders.

Michael Thomas on the injury report. Thomas was diagnosed with a high-ankle injury after he got rolled up on after a play late in the game. From the broadcast, it looked like Thomas refused treatment and didn't come back in. The Saints won't have to put an injury report out until Thursday, so it's something we'll watch closely to see what happens. Hopefully it's nothing serious, but there's also no rush for Thomas to get back to the field. Others will have to step up.

Returning faces and debuts. Marcus Davenport and Cesar Ruiz were the big names out for New Orleans in the first week, and we're wanting to see what happens with them for their Week 2 status. Sean Payton mentioned on WWL Radio Monday night that Davenport will be back soon, and the team isn't rushing him. They aren't the only ones, as rookie Zack Baun, Shy Tuttle, and P.J. Williams were among the surprise inactives from Sunday.  We'll see if they make their season debuts on Monday night.

A Saints defensive encore. The Raiders put up 372 total yards of offense on the Panthers, while going 6-of-11 on 3rd down. Josh Jacobs was good on the ground in the opener, going for 93 yards on 25 rushing attempts, scoring three times. Derek Carr didn't set the world on fire, but turned in a respectable performance after going 22-of-30 for 239 yards and a score. 

Henry Ruggs III displayed some of that blazing wide receiver speed Al Davis coveted so much against Carolina, and will be a matchup the Saints defense will account for while drawing up their game plan. Dennis Allen's squad passed their first test of the season with flying colors against Tom Brady, and everyone wants to make sure it's here to stay.

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Editorial / Opinion