Mon Sep 21 11:36pm ET
By JOSH DUBOW
AP Pro Football Writer
Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden motions to his players during the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) drops back to pass against the Las Vegas Raiders during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass to tight end Darren Waller (83) during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
Las Vegas Raiders linebacker Nicholas Morrow (50) celebrates after making an interception against the New Orleans Saints during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Zay Jones, left, catches a touchdown against New Orleans Saints free safety Marcus Williams (43) during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
LAS VEGAS (AP) Derek Carr threw three touchdown passes and the Raiders gave their new fans in Las Vegas plenty to celebrate even if they weren't allowed in the stadium by beating the New Orleans Saints 34-24 on Monday night.
The new $2 billion stadium in the desert held its first event following the Raiders' move from Oakland without any fans because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
That was one of the few things that didn't go right for the Raiders (2-0), who overcame an early 10-point deficit to the Saints (1-1) and opened the season with two straight wins for the fourth time in the past 25 seasons.
Carr was in complete control for most of the night, completing 28 of 38 passes for 282 yards. Darren Waller caught 12 of the passes for 103 yards as Carr's most trusted option.
Carr engineered four straight scoring drives in the second and third quarters to turn a 10-0 deficit into a 24-17 lead.
Picking apart the New Orleans defense with short passes, the Raiders controlled the clock and kept Drew Brees and the Saints off the field. Las Vegas converted 10 of 17 third downs and also went for it successfully twice on fourth down.
The Raiders even survived a fumbled pitch by Jalen Richard by stopping the Saints and then scoring on the ensuing drive on a 20-yard run by Richard.
After being gashed on the ground early, the Raiders did a good job against Brees, who struggled without his injured No. 1 receiver Michael Thomas.
Brees went 26 for 38 for 312 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
After the Saints cut the deficit to 31-24 on Alvin Kamara's second TD run, the Raiders took advantage of a pass interference call against Janoris Jenkins and then iced the game with a 54-yard field goal by Daniel Carlson.
The Raiders almost had a big blunder on the opening drive of the third quarter when Carr fumbled a snap on third down from the 1. Alec Ingold recovered for Las Vegas and Carr threw a 1-yard TD to Waller on fourth down to give the Raiders their first lead of the game at 24-17.
TALE OF TWO QUARTERS
The Raiders first game in Las Vegas didn't get off to a great start with the Saints driving for scores on their first two drives to take a 10-0 lead on Kamara's first TD run. The Raiders punted on their first two drives before Carr and the offense got going in the second quarter.
Carr went 14 for 18 for 139 yards in the quarter, throwing a 3-yard TD pass to 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.
Nicholas Morrow then intercepted Brees late in the half, setting up Daniel Carlson's 28-yard field goal that made it 17-17.
Al Davis' widow Carol Davis got the honor to light the ceremonial torch in honor of her late husband before the game. Her son, Mark, who runs the team, didn't attend the game as he has said he won't come until fans are allowed at the new stadium.
Saints: LG Andrus Peat left in the fourth quarter with an undisclosed injury.
Raiders: LG Richie Incognito left the game in the first half with an Achilles injury that bothered him this past week in practice and didn't return.
Saints: Host Green Bay on Sunday.
Raiders: Visit New England on Sunday.
Five Fantasy Takeaways from Week 2
Las Vegas Raiders TE Jason Witten posted one grab for three yards on his only target in Week 2 against the New Orleans Saints.
Fantasy Spin: Witten won't sniff the field for many snaps as long as Darren Waller is healthy and running hot. He is more of an on-field coach and mentor at this point of his career. His fantasy value is rather negligible at the moment. The Raiders travel to meet the Patriots in Week 3.
Las Vegas Raiders WR Nelson Agholor was limited to just one reception for 19 yards on one target in Week 2 against the New Orleans Saints.
Fantasy Spin: Agholor was mostly invisible, with fellow wideouts Bryan Edwards (two), Hunter Renfrow (three) and Henry Ruggs III (three) each seeing more targets, and Zay Jones scoring the lone touchdown among the group. As such, Agholor has a ways to go before regaining fantasy relevance. The Raiders travel to meet the Patriots in Week 3.
Las Vegas Raiders WR Zay Jones posted a 15-yard touchdown on his only target in Week 2 against the New Orleans Saints.
Fantasy Spin: Despite the score he isn't someone for fantasy owners to count upon going forward outside of the very, very deepest of leagues. The Raiders travel to meet the Patriots in Week 3.
Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr completed 28-of-38 passes for 282 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in Week 2 against the New Orleans Saints.
Fantasy Spin: Carr's favorite target was Darren Waller (12-103-1), and he targeted the tight end 16 times while targeting 10 others players a total of just 18 times. The Raiders travel to meet the New England Patriots in Week 3.
Las Vegas Raiders RB Jalen Richard rushed twice for 26 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown scamper, in Week 2 against the New Orleans Saints.
Fantasy Spin: It wasn't a great night, and he didn't have any receptions. Two touches, even with a touchdown, won't make him terribly attractive for fantasy owners in most leagues. The Raiders travel to meet the Patriots in Week 3.
New Orleans Saints S Malcolm Jenkins posted seven total stops, a sack, a tackle for loss, a pass defensed and a quarterback hit in Week 2 against the Las Vegas Raiders.
New Orleans Saints TE Jared Cook posted just two grabs for 13 yards on five targets in Week 2 against the Las Vegas Raiders, but he was able to score a touchdown.
Fantasy Spin: Cook salvaged the line with the touchdown, even if his yardage total was way down. He had five grabs for 80 yards in Week 1, so he has found a way to contribute each game. He remains a decent low-end TE1 in leagues of 12 or more teams heading into Week 3 against the Green Bay Packers.
New Orleans Saints LB Demario Davis registered eight total stops with one tackle for loss and a pass defensed in Week 2 against the Las Vegas Raiders.
New Orleans Saints CB P.J. Williams posted seven total tackles, including five solo stops, and he added a fumble recovery in Week 2 against the Las Vegas Raiders.
New Orleans Saints WR Emmanuel Sanders registered just one catch for 18 yards on three targets in Week 2 against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Fantasy Spin: Sanders was very disappointing given the fact Michael Thomas was out due to injury and he figured to have a much larger role. Fantasy owners will want to keep him reserved until he gets more acclimated to his new surroundings and he gets more involved. The Packers visit the Saints in Week 3.
New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz connected on his only field-goal attempt and made three extra points in the Week 2 loss to the Raiders. Lutz didn't get to try for many field goals considering the Saints offense capitalized with touchdowns when they were in the red zone. As part of a high-octane offense, Lutz remains a weekly starter considering his large role and reliability.
New Orleans Saints WR Ty Montgomery posted two receptions for 25 yards on three targets in Week 2 against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Fantasy Spin: Montgomery is a versatile player who has lined up in the backfield for rushes, as well as as a wideout, during his time with the Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets. However, he has plenty of company at both spots and isn't going to get enough touches to make him fantasy worthy in most leagues.
New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara had a tremendous performance in the Week 2 loss to the Raiders, getting 13 carries for 79 yards and two touchdowns along with leading the team with nine receptions for 95 yards on nine targets. The absence of Michael Thomas thrust Kamara into a huge role and he put on a great display in both the passing and rushing game. He remains a solid RB1 going forward.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith came through in the Week 2 loss to Las Vegas, getting five receptions for 86 yards on seven targets. With Michael Thomas sidelined, it was only natural to see Smith see some more targets and he delivered with a great performance. He should see some targets as long as Thomas is out, keeping him in the flex tier for the foreseeable future.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders only managed one reception for 18 yards on three targets in the Week 2 loss to the Raiders. It was certainly a disappointing performance for the temporary WR1 of the Saints as Drew Brees even eclipsed 300 passing yards. Sanders will look to get back on track in Week 3 against the Packers, but his value should be downgraded to a flex considering his Week 2 struggles.
New Orleans Saints tight end Jared Cook only managed two receptions for 13 yards on five targets in the Week 2 loss to the Raiders. After coming off an 80-yard performance in Week 1, the tight end was certainly disappointing. Nevertheless, with Michael Thomas sidelined, he should still see a decent number of targets and can redeem himself in Week 3. Cook can be explosive, thus keeping him in the TE1 tier going forward.
New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara rushed 13 times for 79 yards and two touchdowns and he also added team highs with nine receptions, 95 yards and nine targets in Week 2 against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Fantasy Spin: Kamara was the apple of Drew Brees' eye with Michael Thomas inactive due to injury. Kamara is off to a monster start for fantasy owners, posting just 95 rushing yards in two games, but he has three rushing scores with 14 receptions, 146 receiving yards and another score through the air. Next up is a home game against the Green Bay Packers on SNF in Week 3.
New Orleans Saints RB Latavius Murray rushed three times for 14 yards and he added two receptions for 19 yards on two targets in Week 2 against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Fantasy Spin: Murray's touches will be limited as long as Alvin Kamara is healthy and going well. He is a solid handcuff for Kamara and only worth starting in the deepest of fantasy leagues heading into Week 3 against the Green Bay Packers.
New Orleans Saints WR Tre'Quan Smith posted five receptions for 86 yards on seven targets in Week 2 against the Las Vegas Raiders, leading all wide receivers in yardage.
Fantasy Spin: Smith stepped up with Michael Thomas sidelined due to injury. In fact, he was the only effective wideout for Drew Brees in this one. If Thomas is sidelined again in Week 3, Smith is worth a look as a WR4 or flex fantasy option on Sunday Night Football against the Green Bay Packers.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees went 26-for-38 and put up 312 yards, one touchdown, and one pick in the loss to the Raiders on Monday. After a hot start, the Saints cooled down and the offense couldn't get going deeper into the game. It was obvious the absence of Michael Thomas was felt, but this was the type of performance that is now expected of Brees, which is generally not explosive in terms of touchdowns. He should remain a low-end QB1 or high QB2 going forward.