Raiders win a thriller in Carolina behind a strong offensive performance

Raiders (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Raiders (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

The Las Vegas Raiders won an absolute thriller in Week 1 defeating the Carolina Panthers.

The Las Vegas Raiders kicked off their new start in a new city with a thrilling 34-30 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Week 1.

It wasn’t the dominant start to the Las Vegas era that Raiders fans were hoping for, but the team managed to get it done late behind a very solid showing from the offense, a good day from their kicker, and some late heroics from the defense.

The Raiders took a 17-15 lead into the half courtesy of a Josh Jacobs rushing score and a 23-yard touchdown grab from Nelson Agholor. The defense bent a few times, but ultimately held Carolina to three first-half field goals.

Las Vegas turned on the jets in the third quarter scoring 10 unanswered points behind a 54-yard Daniel Carlson field goal and a second rushing touchdown from Jacobs.

Carolina bounced back following a pair of touchdowns on connective possessions capped off by a 75-yard run catch-and-run from Robby Anderson who burnt past rookie cornerback Damon Arnette.

Ultimately, the Raiders were able to muscle their way down the field and score on a nine-play, 75-yard drive capped off by Jacobs’ third rushing touchdown of the game.

The Panthers got the ball back and looked to be driving around midfield before a 4th-and-inches stand by a Raiders defensive line that had been shaky all afternoon seeled the deal.

Which Raiders players were the primary standouts from Week 1?

Jacobs was the star of the show on offense rushing for 93 yards and three touchdowns while also adding four catches for 46 yards in the air.

Meanwhile, rookie wideout Henry Ruggs looked great early on hauling in three catches for 55 yards in short order before exiting with a knee injury. He would return, but didn’t see a pass come his way the rest of the game.

Ruggs’ injury wasn’t the only one suffered on offense as both Trent Brown and Sam Young left early with injuries. That forced offensive guard Denzelle Good — who has limited experience playing tackle — into the right tackle position.

And to his credit, Good along with the rest of the Raiders’ offensive line more than held their own on Sunday.

As for the defensive line — not so much. The Raiders struggled to contain Christian McCaffrey for much of the game and didn’t have any semblance of a pass-rush to speak of.

Nonetheless, this was a heck of a way to start the season.

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And the Raiders need all the momentum they could get as they travel home to Allegiant Stadium to play their first home game in Vegas against a very good New Orleans Saints team.