The Las Vegas Raiders got their season off to an excellent start as quarterback Derek Carr posted 435 yards for two touchdowns, including the walk-off winning score in overtime as the Raiders overcame the Baltimore Ravens 33-27 in Nevada.
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson had 235 yards passing for one touchdown as well as 86 rushing yards as Baltimore were yet another of the much-fancied AFC teams to suffer defeat on the opening weekend of the season.
With the Bills, Patriots, Titans, Colts, Browns and Ravens all suffering opening weekend defeats, many fans are worried that their early season predictions for these teams to challenge the dominant Kansas City Chiefs, may be wide of the mark.
Instead, with wins for the Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Chargers and now the Las Vegas Raiders, the main threat to the Chiefs dominance of the AFC may come from within the AFC West.
The Las Vegas Raiders have defeated the Baltimore Ravens 33-27
Darren Waller – 10 REC., 105 YD’s, 1 TD
Derek Carr – 435 YD’s, 2 TD
— Up The Score Podcast (@OfficialUTSPod) September 14, 2021
With Raiders fans able to turn out to see their team for the first time since the pandemic, they probably felt that John Gruden’s team would flatter to deceive once again as they fell behind 14-0 early in the second quarter.
However, a solid fight back before half time led by Carr and receiver Darren Waller, saw the deficit reduce to 14-10 by the half.
Justin Tucker’s field goal extended that lead to 17-10 in the third, but the game swung when Jackson fumbled the ball, early in the fourth quarter, with Perryman recovering for the Raiders, which led to Josh Jacobs rushing in to level the scores.
That was the start of a frantic ending to the game with the Ravens scoring a touchdown to move 24-17 up, only for the Raiders to counter with a touchdown of their own.
The Ravens probably felt they had won it when Tucker’s second field goal of the game put them 27-24 up with just 37 seconds remaining, but Carr drove the team into field position before Carlson nailed a 55-yard field goal to force overtime.
Over Time Drama
Given the dramatic end to regulation time, fans didn’t expect the action to kick up a notch in overtime but that is precisely what happened.
Carr led his team on a stunning 74-yard drive and it looked like Bryan Edwards had won the game for the Raiders, which led to wild celebrations on the pitch and stands.
However, replays showed that his arm was short of the end zone when his knee touched the ground. Cue the players heading back to the sidelines and fans re-taking their seats in the stadium.
After a failed QB sneak, and a penalty on the offense which dropped them back five yards, Carr attempted a pass to Snead but the throw hit Snead’s hands, then DeShon Elliott’s helmet, looped into the air and then was intercepted by Ravens Averett in the end zone for a touchback.
However, on their overtime possession, Jackson once again fumbled when being sacked by Nassib, and this time Philon recovered for the Raiders at the Baltimore 27.
Now needing just a field goal to win it, the Raiders gained a yard on their first play but when attempting the field goal, there was a delay of game penalty, which forced them back five yards and forced a rethink.
Having dodged a bullet, the Ravens blitzed quarterback Carr on the very next play, but Carr dropped back and found Zay Jones for a 31-yard touchdown to clinch the win in a crazy end to the game.
Coach John Gruden commented after the crazy end to a game that the Raiders only led after the game winning score in overtime.
“I felt like I died and woke up and died again. And I was like a cat, I had multiple lives tonight. I don’t like playing like that. It was tough, but again, we did a lot of really good things to win that football game tonight.”
AFC West’s Dream Start
With all four teams in the AFC West enjoying opening day victories, the same as in the NFC West where the Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals also all posted wins, it promises to be a hugely exciting season in both divisions.
And for Raiders fans who got their first look at their new team in their new stadium, the new season is already looking promising.
Although they probably would prefer to win games in a little less dramatic fashion from now on.