All week long Las Vegas has been buzzing about its newest tenants who officially opened their new residence on Monday night. Fans, who were not allowed inside Allegiant Stadium because of COVID-19 restrictions, still showed up early outside, dressed up and geeked out, to cheer on their beloved Raiders.
Derek Carr and a bend-but-don’t-break defense made sure their efforts weren’t in vain.
Carr threw for 282 yards and 3 touchdowns, while the Raiders hassled and harassed Saints quarterback Drew Brees all night to secure a historic first home game win by beating the New Orleans Saints 34-24 in front of a national television audience on Monday Night Football.
Darren Waller caught 12 passes for 103 yards and a touchdown while Josh Jacobs, the newest bright star in the NFL, added 88 yards on 27 carries.
Darren Waller is having a night: 12 catches, 103 yards and 1 TD. #RaiderNation
— NFL (@NFL) September 22, 2020
The Raiders came out sluggish though, allowing the Saints and their video game-like offense, to score on their first two possessions while punting on their own. Then the offense finally came to life and began punching back at the Saints’ leaky secondary.
Carr connected on 14 for 18 passing, throwing for 139 yards in the quarter, tossing a 3-yard TD pass to fullback Alec Ingold and a perfectly placed 15-yarder to Zay Jones. The TD was capped by Jones gathering his teammates and pretending to give them all hand sanitizer.
Always remember to sanitize 😷 pic.twitter.com/BcUoRRxf5M
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) September 22, 2020
Carr led the offense to scoring drives on four straight possessions turning an early 10-point deficit into a 24-17 lead in the third quarter.
The game was hardly in the bag for the Raiders though, especially when you have a future first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback on the other side of the field.
Brees went 26 for 38 for 312 yards, tossing a touchdown and an interception. Alvin Kamara, the Saints’ all world runningback with a fresh new $75 million contract, kept the Saints close by scoring two TDs on 79 yards rushing. He added 95 yards receiving as well. Overall the Saints powerful offense eclipsed Las Vegas in total yards 424 – 375, but couldn’t find the end zone more than once in the second half.
After the Saints cut the lead to 31-24 on Alvin Kamara’s second TD run, the Raiders got a timely pass interference call against Janoris Jenkins and sealed the game with a 54-yard field goal by kicker Daniel Carlson.
The Raiders have now opened the season 2-0 for only the fourth time in the past 25 years.
The Raiders new $2 billion stadium was opened by the official “lighting” of the giant ceremonial torch by Carol Davis, the widow of late Raiders owner Al Davis. Her son Mark Davis, who owns and runs the team was not in attendance per his stance that he would not attend games until fans were allowed in as well.
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