The Raiders took the field for the first time in Las Vegas. With the eyes and collective hearts of the fanbase, eagerly anticipating the opener, the Raiders defeated the New Orleans Saints, 34-24. After a tumultuous offseason, due to the pandemic, this game felt like decades in the making. Yet, the Raiders rose to the occasion.
Despite early struggles, Carr settled in. By completing 73.7 percent of his passes, Carr continues to master the Gruden offense. More importantly, he displayed an aggressive streak when he attempted to find Henry Ruggs deep on multiple occasions. While they did not connect, the Raiders places the threat in the minds of future opponents.
Like a veteran boxer, Las Vegas used body punches to weaken the opponent. In this case, Josh Jacobs battered New Orleans. Although he did not eclipse four yards per carry, twenty-seven carries sapped the strength and will from the heart of the Saints’ defense. However, the Raiders need to depend on others.
Sixteen targets. If the Saints didn’t catch on, the Raiders would be smart to keep feeding them. Credit Derek Carr for realizing Waller presented the Saints with a nightmare matchup. Due to his size/speed and improved route-running, Waller carved up the Saints for twelve catches for 103 yards and a touchdown. Malcolm Jenkins, regarded as one of the better cover safeties, failed to stay with Waller.
Absent. Clelin Ferrell looks lost. After a year-plus in the NFL, there’s little improvement. From hand placement to counters to shedding, issues remain. Once again, an opposing offense line shut the Raiders down. Drew Brees felt pressure when the team blitzed. Additionally, the Saints negated the ends with crisp techniques.
Cory Littleton and Nicholas Morrow combined for ten tackles. Plus, Morrow picked off a pass. Now, those were the highlights. The lowlights saw missed tackles and Alvin Kamara totaling 174 combined yards and two touchdowns.
Damon Arnette struggles for the second consecutive week. As a result. Paul Guenther removes him, in favor of Nevin Lawson. Why? Nevin Lawson, he of the thousands of snaps without a single interception. Why pull a first-round pick, trying to find his footing? Paul Guenther needs to leave Arnetter in the game. How else will he learn?
The Raiders travel to New England to battle the New England Patriots. While cross-country trips may seem like instant headaches, the Raiders will step on the Gillette Stadium undefeated.