Video Credit: NFL

Game Recap: Raiders vs Saints – 9/21/2020

Las Vegas Raiders (2-0)  |  New Orleans Saints (1-1)


The Las Vegas Raiders kicked off their first ever home game at Allegiant Stadium with a big win over the New Orleans Saints. The Las Vegas Raiders defeated the New Orleans Saints in a 34-24 win in their first appearance at Allegiant Stadium to start the 2020 NFL season 2-0.


Raiders vs Saints
Photo Credit: Big Blue View

The last time the Saints allowed an opposing rusher to go for over 100-yards rushing was back in November of 2017. Pro bowlers Cameron Jordan and Demario Davis lead their front seven in a 44-game streak of rushing yards under 100. Despite not breaking this record, the Raiders’ rushing won them this game.

The Saints came out strong in the first quarter, going heavy on the run game. Dual-threat running back Alvin Kamara racked up a quick 53 yards rushing to go along with a touchdown. He finished the game with 79 yards rushing, 95 receiving yards, and two touchdowns.

Drew Brees was without his go-to receiver Michael Thomas in last night’s game, but Tre’Quan Smith filled in as the “X” wideout. Brees favored Smith as he finished with 86 yards and a touchdown.


The Raiders missed their starting tackle Trent Brown and lost guard Richie Incagnito, who got injured in the first quarter. Josh Jacobs was held to only 26 yards on 11 carries in the first half.


Raiders vs Saints
Photo Credit: Fox News

Las Vegas relies on their young stud Jacobs to control the ground game to open up some opportunities for Derek Carr through the air. New additions Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards can be serious threats downfield for Carr this season if the opportunity presents itself.  But Jacobs was limited, and that caused issues early for the Raiders.

Derek Carr struggled with the pocket collapsing around him and missing a few long ball attempts early in the game. But he got it going when he started to target tight end, Darren Waller. The big tight end, who is a matchup problem for any defender in this league, was a good outlet for his quarterback to get his team downfield for their first scoring drive in the second quarter.

Raiders’ fullback Alec Ingold got his squad’s first-ever points at Allegiant Stadium with a 3 yard TD reception, the first-ever TD pass at “The Death Star.”

The Raiders’ short-passing scheme, which utilizes their half backs and tight ends, worked in Carr’s favor. In the Silver and Black’s last drive of the 1st half, the Raiders tied things up at 17 apiece. Carr did a masterful job orchestrating the Raiders offense to give them some momentum the start the second half.


Las Vegas’ run game made a complete turnaround in the 2nd half.


Josh Jacobs and Jalen Richard produced 82 yards on the ground in the second half, which was able to move the Raiders downfield for scoring chances and eat up the clock. The Raiders had no offensive drive go shorter than three minutes. They dominated ball possession with a little over nineteen minutes versus just under ten for the Saints. 

Raiders vs Saints
Photo Credit: Midland Daily News

Time was on Las Vegas’ side as they had three touchdown drives with ten or more plays. The run game opened up passing lanes, especially for Darren Waller. Waller went off for 103 yards and a touchdown. In fact, his 12 receptions were the second-most by a tight-end on a Monday Night Football game in NFL history.

The Raiders did a great job in the fourth quarter, not allowing any deep balls over the top from Brees, only short-yardage completions that ate up time in the Raider’s favor. Nonetheless, Vegas could look to improve their pressure on the quarterback and filling the gaps to slow down opposing teams’ run games. Grant it, they have gone against two great backs in Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara, but if the defense can stop the ground game, opposing teams will have a rough time putting points on the board.


With 1:05 left in the game, score at 31-24, Jon Gruden had a decision that could have made or broke the game for the Raiders.


Raiders vs Saints
Photo Credit: Isaac Brekken/ AP

It was 4th and ten on New Orleans’ 36-yard line. Coach Gruden had two options: punt the ball and give a top tier offense time to drive down the field to score, or put trust in your young kicker for a 54-yard field goal to make it a two-possession game with a minute left. If he misses the field goal attempt, it gives a dangerous Brees excellent field position.

Jon Gruden did what all of Raider Nation would’ve done. Go for the field goal to effectively end the game!

And just like that, Daniel Carlson iced the game with a beautiful kick through the uprights, securing the Raiders their inaugural home game victory in their new stadium. The Monday night win brings the Silver and Black’s record to 2-0 on the 2020 season.


The Las Vegas Raiders’ next game is against Cam Newton, Bill Belichick, and the new look New England Patriots. Game time is Sunday at 10:00 am PT on CBS.

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Justin Brooks – Franchise Sports Media

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