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Passing grades all around for Raiders in beating Saints

Updated September 22, 2020 - 12:56 pm

How the team performed in a 34-24 win against the Saints.

OFFENSE: A

Down a starting tackle to begin the night and then losing guard Richie Incognito to injury, the Raiders survived a shaky beginning to score 34 points over the final three quarters. Derek Carr (28-of-38 for 282 yards and three touchdowns) was sacked three times in the first quarter for the first time in his career. But he didn’t go down again and was magnificent on third down. Las Vegas finished 10-of-17 on third down. Carr completed passes to 11 receivers, led again by tight end Darren Waller (16-103-TD). Josh Jacobs totaled 88 yards on 27 carries

DEFENSE: A

New Orleans gained 424 yards, but scored seven second-half points. Nicholas Morrow’s first-half interception of Drew Brees (26-of-38 for 312 yards, TD, interception) led to a Las Vegas field goal. Morrow and rookie cornerback Damon Arnette led the team with seven tackles each. There were no sacks of Brees, but the Raiders did receive quarterback hurries from Maurice Hurst (2) and one each from Johnathan Abram and Carl Nassib.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B

Daniel Carlson was perfect again and hit a 54-yard field goal with 1:05 remaining to secure the win. Carlson also hit 28 to end the first half and push the Raiders into a 17-17 tie. In all, the Raiders allowed 64 yards in returns, both via kickoffs. A.J. Cole averaged 40 yards on two punts, neither of which was returned.

COACHING: A

It is just the second time the Raiders have beaten an opponent with a winning record since Jon Gruden returned as head coach. And it was a huge one. The Raiders adjusted to injuries on both sides of the ball to defeat a team many have predicted will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther’s unit bent, but didn’t break against one of the league’s best offenses. Next up: A road game against the Patriots.

Ed Graney Las Vegas Review-Journal

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