The Raiders are back! Las Vegas welcomed fans back to Allegiant Stadium to take on the Baltimore Ravens in what promised to be a challenging game for the new-look Raiders. The Ravens came in and took the Silver and Black to the brink despite being banged up.
The stadium was electric, the fans were ready, here’s how the game turned out for the Silver and Black…
The Ravens deferred and the Raiders started the game with the ball. The Raiders got off to an exciting start with a brand new Marcus Mariota package on third down for a big run. The drive collapsed after a few incomplete passes and a botched snap by Andre James leading to a sack and punt.
Denzelle Good would be injured on the drive.
The new Raiders defense got their shot at Lamar Jackson in front of home fans. The Ravens got to move to their own 32 before Maxx Crosby crushed Jackson to end the drive. Crosby was sensational on the night.
Three straight incompletions to Waller, they couldn’t cash in on next the drive; Carr was off to a rocky start. AJ Cole boomed yet another punt to push the field position back.
The Ravens made them pay anyway. Las Vegas held Baltimore to a 4th and 1 play in Raiders territory. Ty’Son Williams gashed the defensive front directly up the middle for the first score of the game.
Las Vegas followed with two more three-and-outs led by sputtering offensive line play, bad timing on throws, and blown assignments.
Raiders 0 – Ravens 7
The second quarter opened with a much-needed stop by the defense trying to breathe life into the game. John Simpson recorded a false start, and Carr took another bad sack to extinguish another drive.
Jackson pushed the ball impressively to get the Ravens on the board a second time. ‘Hollywood‘ Brown and Sammy Watkins contributed before Brown found paydirt and put his team up big.
Carr calmed down on the next possession. For the first time in the game, it seemed like the offense settled into itself.
Some surgical passing led to the first score of the game, and the first score at Allegiant with fans in the stands. Josh Jacobs punched the ball right up the middle for a two-yard score and brought the Raiders back within seven.
With the fans alive, the Ravens tried to answer but ended up turning the ball over on downs on the Las Vegas 36-yard line back to the Silver and Black.
With just over one minute to go, Carr engineered the end of half offense to perfection. Waller, Renfrow, and Zay Jones all caught big passes. A Daniel Carlson field goal ended the half to tighten the gap and give the Raiders life going into halftime.
Raiders 10 – Ravens 14
Yannick Ngakoue and Maxx Crosby were all over the field to start the 3rd quarter. A nice defensive stand led to a punt and it appeared to continue the tide turning towards the home team.
The Ravens answered the bell and held the Raiders to a three-and-out, aided by a very questionable offensive pass interference penalty on Bryan Edwards that voided a big catch by Darren Waller.
Another booming punt by AJ Cole had a decent return and gave Lamar Jackson the ball in Raider territory. The field position helped lead to Justin Tucker’s field goal despite some pretty good defense.
Some classic Jon Gruden run-pass mix got the Raiders going. The drive sputtered at the Baltimore 13 yard line after Jacobs was stuffed for a loss on a run out of the shotgun.
Raiders 10 – Ravens 17
The fourth quarter was electric.
The first drive of the quarter featured a big sack on Carr, and a big gainer by Kenyan Drake to nearly pick up a first down. The Raiders punted back to Baltimore only to have Quinton Jefferson knock the ball loose during a Jackson scramble to set the Vegas up in plus territory.
They cashed in. Carr moved the offense down to the 15-yard line, and Jacobs punched it in from there. We had a classic brewing.
The Ravens had an answer of their own. It was clutch time for Lamar Jackson who found a mismatch hitting Sammy Watkins breaking through the linebacking core for a huge gain. Gerald McCoy would be injured on the play and carted off to the dismay of the entire Raiders team.
Latavius Murray exacted some revenge. Fresh off being cut by the Saints, ‘Tay Train’ put the Ravens up by seven with an eight-yard touchdown against the quarterback he once called his teammate.
Carr needed to work some magic to respond and keep the Raiders in the game. He connected on passes to Waller, Ruggs, and Renfrow before launching a deep shot to Ruggs all the way to the Ravens’ 10. A penalty on Alex Leatherwood pushed the offense back, but Carr hit Waller on two straight passes; the last of which was a touchdown to tie the game.
Could there be an answer?
Jackson got to work with 3:44 left to play. They opened up a few passes before Jackson took the reins. He had big scrambles down the heart of the defense to set up a Justin Tucker field goal with 44 seconds left in the game. It looked bleak for the home opener.
Things went from magical to miraculous. Edwards, the talk of training camp, caught two huge passes of 18 and 20 yards to get the Raiders in field goal range following a Carr spike. Carlson split a 55-yard field goal to tie the game and send it to overtime.
Carr had done it again.
Raiders 27 – Ravens 27
Ingold won the coin toss for the Raiders and took possession for the first drive of overtime. If there was any doubt as to whether Carr was in the zone, he silenced it. Edwards and Renfrow took big gainers to wind up at the Baltimore 33-yard line.
That’s when Carr chucked a bomb to Edwards who ran it all the way in for a touchdown to end the game. Celebration ensued.
Time stood still as the referees declared the replay review to check the spot of the ball. Edwards was short of the goal line. The Raiders were forced to take over and try and end the game from the 1.
Carr tried to sneak it in, but could not break the plane.
Then Leatherwood had a nightmare penalty. A false start on the 1 pushed them back five yards for a chance to win the game. Carr dialed up a dart on third down that ran through Willie Snead’s hands, off a helmet, and into the clutches of the Ravens.
Jackson began moving the offense in an attempt to ice the game for good. Carl Nassib had other plans. The veteran defensive end clobbered Jackson for a sack, stripped the ball loose, and Darius Philon recovered.
Carlson had a shot to win it, but a delay of game due to some indecisiveness by the Raiders pushed them slightly out of field goal range. Carr had seen enough. Carr launched a bomb to Zay Jones against press coverage, Jones hit the end zone untouched, and Raider Nation erupted as their team starts the 2021 season 1-0.
Raiders 33 – Ravens 27
*Top Photo: Courtesy of Raiders Official Website