Vegas and luck went well together on Monday
Finally, you don’t have to believe in luck or fate if you don’t want to. But this was Las Vegas. It was an emerging team in the Raiders.
It was their opening night on their bright new stage.
No team ever wants to lose the first game in their new stadium or new city. The Raiders came to play. Derek Carr looked confident and was sharp. But the biggest difference was the Raiders kept the Saints offense on the bench, particularly in the second half.
The Saints had only one possession in the third quarter. That’s a combination of the Raiders offense being quite efficient, and the Saints defense not being able to get stops on third down and fourth down. The Raiders were 10-17 on third-down conversions and 2-2 on fourth down.
All this is to say the Saints played poorly, but take nothing from the Raiders – they played well and did those things teams need to do to win games, particularly against a typically solid offensive team like the Saints.
For the Black and Gold, there is plenty of blame to go around this week.
In each of these last seasons though, week three has been a turning point to positive play. It’s as though the first two weeks are the starters’ pre-season (since we’ve mysteriously held them out of so much play in preseason…) and by week three things start to gel.
And it needs to happen this week because the Green Bay Packers currently look like one of the better teams in the NFC. Sunday night should be a big challenge for the Saints and it’s time to begin the turnaround.