Heading into Monday Night Football against the New Orleans Saints, not many people expected the Las Vegas Raiders to win, let alone control the game in the second half. Most of those people were probably feeling good about those predictions early on as the Saints took a quick 10-0 lead and the Raiders didn’t see to have an answer for them on offense or defense.
Though he wasn’t playing due to injury, Saints All-Pro wide receiver Michael Thomas said on Twitter that the game “might get ugly fast.” Well, it didn’t take long for his tweet to age poorly. The best part is the fact that he had to delete it. Luckily, the internet is forever.
Yeah, it did get pretty ugly fast in the second half, just not the way that Thomas meant. The Raiders controlled the game pretty easily after the first few drives. Even when the Raiders had a lead, Thomas wasn’t done and suggested that kicker Daniel Carlson was “spooked” before hitting the kick that sealed the game.
Carlson hit the 54-yard field goal, proving Thomas wrong once again.
Raiders Deserve a Lot of Credit Despite Saints Injuries
The Raiders were fortunate that Thomas didn’t play but it’s lazy to suggest that’s the only reason the Saints lost. Las Vegas was without two Pro Bowl offensive linemen in Richie Incognito and Trent Brown. They were also missing starting middle linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski. If both teams were at 100%, the Raiders probably would’ve still won.
The Saints could not stop the Raiders offense and they have a really strong unit. It’s a testament to the job Jon Gruden has done. After two weeks, the Raiders are averaging 34 points a game. That’s no small feat, especially against a stout New Orleans defense. Las Vegas was expected to have a solid offense this year and it’s clear they’re meeting those expectations. Also, they have a lot of young players all over the group so they could just keep getting better as the season goes on.
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Raiders Face Another Stiff Test in Week 3
The 2020 season has been good to the Raiders so far but their schedule doesn’t lighten up anytime soon. Next week, they head to New England to face off against a strong Patriots team. They lost a lot of talent this offseason but through two games, it’s clear that Bill Belichick is still a force to be reckoned with. Also, Cam Newton looks like he’s been able to turn back the clock. They came close to beating an elite Seattle Seahawks teams.
The Raiders typically struggle when they have to travel to the east coast but they were able to do it with success against the Carolina Panthers. Playing Belichick is always a huge test for any team but Jon Gruden is very familiar with the coach. The Raiders offense is rolling but Belichick is the guy to figure out how to slow them down. They’ll need to bring their A-game on Sunday.
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