Winners and Losers for Raiders in Week 2 vs. Saints

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  • Las Vegas Raiders
    Las Vegas Raiders
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • New Orleans Saints
    New Orleans Saints
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Darren Waller
    Darren Waller
    American football player
  • Derek Carr
    Derek Carr
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|

The Las Vegas Raiders opened the death star with a bang on Monday Night Football. An underdog at home, the Raiders shocked the world by beating the New Orleans Saints 34-24. This was only the second Jon Gruden win by more than 8 points and a statement for the young franchise.

The Raiders dominated on the offensive side of the ball after a slow start. After going down 10-0 in the first quarter, they outscored the Saints 34-14 during the last three quarters. The offense did not have the efficiency as they did in Week 1, only averaging 4.93 yards per play. But were 10-17 on third down and owned the time of the possession through the football game.

The defense still needs time to gel, but the rest of the NFL defenses do as well. They gave up a wild 7.43 yards per play, which is not going to help them win football games. The defensive line did shine and help the Raiders seal this victory with good pressure and forcing holding calls.

Who were the winners and losers for Week 2? Fans already know one winner; let’s look at the rest:

Winner: TE Darren Waller

Week 1 was a good week for Darren Waller, but he was doubled and tripled teamed, and Carr had to look elsewhere. Week 2, the Raiders found themselves against a man to man defense and utilized Waller heavy in the passing game to a special day from the tight end.

The dazzling tight end finished with 12 catches for 103 yards and a touchdown. He was consistently winning against man to man coverage and abusing the Saints safeties. He displayed great hands, making a few pure hands catches against tight coverage and was able to break tackles and create YAC.

Waller is a special player and helps this offense go. He is a reliable receiver who Derek Carr can lean on with great hands and unique ability after the catch. It could be a big season for Waller.

Winner: QB Derek Carr

The Raiders needed a big day from their starting quarterback to win this game. It started extremely ugly in the first quarter, but after that, fans saw a quarterback who looked it was his third year in the system. Carr put on an outstanding performance with the 34-24 win.

Carr was 28-38 for 282 yards and three touchdowns on the day. He was able to settle down after the first quarter and displayed a ton of trust in his receivers delivering nice passes all over the field. He was terrific on third down, converting a high amount of conversions in the air with consistency.

If Carr can play like this for the rest of the year, The Raiders have a chance to be a playoff team. Carr, for me, has always been about consistency. If he can maintain this type of play for the rest of the season, the sky is the limit for this Raiders team.

Winner: OG John Simpson

The Raiders’ offensive line has been beaten up this season with tons of speculations around right tackle Trent Brown. When Richie Incognito went down, it seemed like it would end with an ugly game after the first three sacks. Young fourth-rounder John Simpson stepped up and had a great first impression.

Simpson did not look out of place throughout this game and played very well. He displayed his ability in the outside zone game and what he can do in space as an offensive guard. Fans did not hear his name during the game, which is excellent for offensive lineman getting his first action.

If Incognito is out for a while, the Raiders can feel comfortable running with Simpson after this performance. Mike Mayock hit in the fourth-round last year with Maxx Crosby and Foster Moreau. After Simpson’s performance, it looks like he might have an exceptional talent for landing developmental players on day three of the draft.

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Loser: DE Clelin Ferrell

Clelin Ferrell had a decent Week 1 performance being strong against the run game but still didn’t exhibit much as a pass rusher. Week 2 was the same type of performance, with Ferrell disappearing too much rushing the passer and not displaying why he was a top-five pick in the draft.

Ferrell didn’t even make the stat sheet this week, and the pressure continues to grow on him to perform where he was drafted. He is getting thoroughly outplayed by third-year defensive end Arden Key who had his best performance of his career with six pressures, according to nextgenstats.com.

The Raiders need their first-round pick defensive end to make a more significant impact on football games. Now, Ferrell is putting out the production of backup or a replacement player instead of a dynamic first-round pick. The front office and coaching staff might have a tough decision soon with their high draft pick not performing at a high level.

Loser: FS Erik Harris

Erik Harris is coming off an up and down week where he gave up a massive play to the Panthers late in the game. Monday night was not the best performance either from the Raiders veteran. He continues to give up big plays and looks like a shell of himself from last season.

Harris’s biggest blunder is when he missed the wide-open tackle on Saints receiver Trequan Smith. This was not the only tackle Harris missed while looking slow to read and react throughout the football game. If you can’t handle the system and keys after three years of coaching, why are you still out on the field?

The Raiders for sure need an upgrade at the safety position. Whether they decide during the season or in the next draft, it is for a high need for this defense to take it to the next level. Harris is a hardworking player, but some players just don’t cut it no matter what.

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