Saints vs. Raiders: 5 things to know about Week 8’s game

There’s a lot on the line in the New Orleans Saints’ matchup with the Las Vegas Raiders. Dennis Allen’s team could really use a win, and it would be cathartic to see him knock off his old squad in front of a raucous home crowd. So many things haven’t gone the Saints’ way that, if nothing else, they could use a win in Week 8 just to clear some negative energy from the room.

So here are 5 things fans need to know going into Week 8’s pivotal game. We’ve got the latest on the broadcast coverage, referee assignment, the opposing quarterback, the injury report, and more:

Game information

506sports.com

This game will be broadcast in TV markets represented in green on this map from 506sports.com, with coverage extending in both teams’ home markets. The game will be shown on CBS throughout most of California, Nevada, and Utah, as well as parts of Oregon, Idaho, and Nebraska; as well as all of Louisiana, most of Mississippi, the Alabama Gulf Coast, and parts of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas closest to the Louisiana border.

CBS has assigned its broadcast team of Kevin Harlan and Trent Green to call the game from the booth, with Melanie Collins reporting from the sideline.

When: Sunday, Oct. 30 at 12:00 p.m. CT

Where: Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, La.

TV: CBS

Referee assignment

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL has assigned referee Scott Novak and his crew to work this week’s Saints-Raiders game, per Football Zebras. Novak worked as a side judge, field judge, and umpire from 2014 to 2018, before being promoted to referee of his own crew in 2019; he’s since worked three Saints games, with New Orleans going 1-2 in those contests. The Saints most recently saw him in their 2021 road loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

This year, Novak’s crew ranks eighth in penalty flags per game (12.4) but eleventh in penalty yards per game (92.4), with 44 fouls going against home teams and 43 on visitors. His crew has put an emphasis on false starts (fouling teams 15 times) and offensive holding (13 times), so the Saints need to be mindful of that up front.

Last meeting: Raiders 34, Saints 24 (Sept. 21, 2020)

The Saints were the first team to play against the Raiders at their new stadium in Las Vegas, and it was a night to forget for New Orleans. Raiders tight end Darren Waller was unstoppable. He caught a dozen receptions to gain 105 yards, convert 8 first downs, and score a touchdown, picking up 54 of those yards after the catch. The Saints lined up 9 different defenders against him, everyone from Malcolm Jenkins and Marcus Williams to Demario Davis and C.J. Gardner-Johnson, and he took down all comers. Waller has been out of action since Week 5 with a hamstring injury, and he’s officially listed as questionable to play, but this feels like a game he won’t want to miss.

Las Vegas leads the all-time series 7-6-1.

Quarterback: Derek Carr

Carr is in the middle of his ninth year starting under center for the Raiders, and this game will mark his 134th start in silver and black. And he’s performing at the same standards we’ve come to see from him, nearly matching his career averages in multiple stats:

  • Completion percentage (64.9% since 2014, 63.5% this year)

  • Touchdown rate (4.3% in his career and this season)

  • Interception rate (1.9%, the same)

  • Sack rate (5.4% this year, slightly above his 5.1% career average)

  • Adjusted net yards per pass attempt (6.45, almost exactly the same as his usual mark of 6.46) which accounts for scoring plays, sacks, and interceptions.

Carr is a capable veteran who is hard to rattle, but he isn’t exactly keeping defenses awake at night. He’s closer to a game manager than a blue-chip difference-maker. He hasn’t been named to the Pro Bowl since 2017, and his teams have never won a playoff game. He can be beaten.

Injury report

We explored it in greater detail here, but in brief: the Saints ruled out three players this week with injuries and have several others listed as questionable to play. They’ll be without at least cornerback Marshon Lattimore (abdomen), wide receiver Michael Thomas (foot), and slot receiver Jarvis Landry (ankle).

The Raiders haven’t ruled out anyone, but they listed seven players as questionable in Week 8: S Johnathan Abram, WR Davante Adams, and DE Tashawn Bower (each dealing with an illness); LB Divine Deablo (back/ankle); WR Mack Hollins (heel); plus WR DJ Turner and TE Darren Waller (hamstring injuries).

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire