Las Vegas Raiders Take the Ravens in Thrilling Season Opener

Dereck Carr leads Raiders to 33-27 overtime victory

The Las Vegas Raiders made the first Monday night game of the NFL’s 2021 season one to remember.

Raiders Quarterback Dereck Carr threw a 31-yard game-winning touchdown to wide receiver Zay Jones in overtime, giving the team a stunning 33-27 win over the Baltimore Ravens — stunning fans and pundits alike in their first-ever season win as a Las Vegas team.

The overtime pass by Carr was simple and executed smoothly, but the path to victory is what was more complicated and earth-shattering across the football world.

Despite the game starting off slow and the Raiders trailing by 14-0 at one point, things eventually picked up — especially in the fourth quarter as both teams went back and forth in a 27-point scoring frenzy.

Carr led three straight scoring drives that included two touchdowns and was later matched by the Ravens ’ Lamar Jackson.

Carr however was able to send the team into overtime in the last 37 seconds of the quarter with a 55-yard field goal.

The Raiders scored on their sixth play after a touchdown pass to wide receiver Bryan Edwards., but officials determined his knee was down short of the goal line.

The Raiders were then flagged for a false start and pushed back from the 1-yard line to the 5-yard line. To make things even more complicated, Carr was then intercepted by Baltimore defensive back Anthony Averett in the end zone.

Although fate appeared to favor Baltimore by this point of the game, Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib forced Jackson to fumble the ball after five plays.

Two plays later, Carr found his opportunity to end the game with his decisive touchdown pass to Jones — causing an uproar of excitement across Allegiant Stadium and social media. 

“I felt like I died and woke up, and died again,” Raiders coach Jon Gruden said in a post-game conference. “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 good things to win that football game tonight.”

In addition to being the team’s first season playing a home game at Allegiant Stadium, Monday night’s game was also notable for being the first to welcome in-person fans. 

The game felt natural happening in the Entertainment Capital of the World with an opening performance of the National Anthem by Gladys Knight, and a halftime show by rappers Ice Cube and Too $hort.

“Las Vegas, I tip my hat; you showed up,” Carr said, mentioning it was the loudest environment he could remember and thanked the fans for being quieter when the offense was on the field. “It got really loud. Las Vegas did their thing, and they helped us pull out that win.”

The Raiders’ next game is set against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field, Sept. 19. The Raiders’ next home game is Sept. 26 against the Miami Dolphins. 

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