An Unforgettable Season Opener for the Las Vegas Raiders
Al Davis once said “Just Win Baby” and on Monday night that was apropos for the Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders did win, they are 1-0 and tied for first in a crowded and talented AFC West.
The final score of 33-27 in overtime doesn’t describe how hectic it actually was for the silver and black.
The Ravens never trailed until the final score of the game. In fact, the Ravens hadn’t lost a game since 2004 when they led by 14 points or more–a streak of 98 games.
The Raiders started very slowly. They had to punt on their first four drives. For a while it looked like their best play was going to be the gadget play with backup quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Carr was off target, locked in on Waller far too much and wasn’t getting much protection. That resulted in that two score separation when the Raiders trailed 14-0. Down 17-10 heading into the fourth quarter you were hoping the Raiders could do something to get the first time ever crowd at Allegiant Stadium going.
The fans got going and so did the Raiders.
Derek Carr led three different game tying drives in the 4th quarter and then the game winner in overtime. The Raiders tied it at 17, 24, and the last time at 27 in the closing seconds to force overtime. The Raiders won the toss and put together a fantastic drive.
They flipped field position and finally had the Ravens on their heels. A lob down the sideline to Bryan Edwards appeared to be the walk off opener that you dream of. The fans went crazy, the players embraced each other and it felt like a classic win. Not so fast.
After a review, Edwards was short of the goal-line.
Carr called his own number but couldn’t punch it in. A hard count backfired and it was the Raiders who jumped. The Raiders had to move back 5 yards and then another brutal mistake.
The Raiders failed to score as Carr threw a pick as his pass sailed through the hands of Willie Snead then off a Ravens defenders’ helmet and ultimately fell into the arms of the Ravens defense. Brutal.
Now, it was next score wins, but the Raiders didn’t have possession of the ball. The Raiders defense made the play they so desperately needed as they bottled up Lamar Jackson in the pocket and got a strip sack.
The ball was back in their hands and they were going to set up a game winning field goal for Daniel Carlson who had been good all night. Cue up another Raiders mistake as the special teams unit was late getting on the field and the Raiders got a delay of game penalty. The field goal was going to be a little longer so Jon Gruden brought the offense back out on the field.
What the what is happening?
Ravens bring the all out blitz and Carr reads it, and delivers a high floater to an open space that Zay Jones runs under and game, set, match.
Wow! What an opener, what a ride, what a win.
Too many penalties, a brutally slow start, monumental mistakes late, but in the end…
Just Win Baby!