The New Orleans Saints and Las Vegas Raiders will open the doors to Allegiant Stadium on Monday Night Football in the desert. The schedule makers went with a good team to visit Allegiant Stadium for the first game in Las Vegas. I don’t think Jon Gruden and the coaching staff cared for having to prepare for this team, but this should be a good game for the debut of Allegiant Stadium.
The stadium is on the other side of the highway from Mandalay Bay. If you’ve been to Las Vegas before, you’ll know what I mean. The City of Las Vegas wanted the stadium in the city limits closer to downtown, but it should work near the Strip for easy access. Raiders’ fans just hope that this team wins a lot of games in the facility.
If that doesn’t happen within the next two years, Mark Davis will likely begin to experience buyer’s remorse on hiring Jon Gruden to the monster deal he gave him to get out of the MNF booth and get back into coaching. Derek Carr certainly won’t be the starting quarterback in Las Vegas if this team isn’t contending in two years.
Carr’s future status with the Raiders has been clouded in doubt for two years already. There has been a lot of talk surrounding whether he’s the guy that’s going to lead the Raiders to the next level. With the Las Vegas era underway, Carr must perform or the Raiders are going to be looking elsewhere for under center.
Gruden drafting Henry Ruggs III in the first-round was a message sent to Carr. We’re giving you another weapon, now go and take the Raiders to the next level. They tried with Antonio Brown and that turned into a joke. Ruggs teamed up with Jerry Jeudy at Alabama and they were an unstoppable duo in the passing game with Tua.
He has wheels and is expected to be a downfield threat for Carr to bomb it out to. Ruggs is listed as questionable after missing practice during the week and limited on Saturday. That would hurt if Ruggs is absent. At a minimum, he won’t be playing at 100%. That would help out a good Saints’ defense in this one.
The Saints did a fine job against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in Week 1. They were 34-23 winners under the dome in New Orleans. The Raiders were winners, too, but needed to fight for it against the Panthers for a 34-30 win on the east coast. New Orleans is down Mike Thomas tonight, but if the Raiders play like that defensively, it’s not going to matter. Head below for our free New Orleans Saints vs. Las Vegas Raiders pick for September 21, 2020.
New Orleans Saints vs. Las Vegas Raiders NFL Week 2 Betting Odds:
New Orleans Saints vs. Las Vegas Raiders Prediction:
It would have been nice if the Raiders had a packed house on Monday Night Football to open Allegiant Stadium, but there won’t be one fan allowed in. Las Vegas just reopened their bars early this morning at midnight, so no, don’t go looking for Governor Sisolak to allow fans at Allegiant Stadium anytime soon.
The excitement of opening the season up in a new stadium should help the Raiders, though. The Rams and Chargers both got a jolt out of their debuts at SoFi Stadium. Maybe it’s the Raiders turn on Monday Night Football in primetime. It will have to happen against a well-rounded Saints team.
You can put the Saints in the top-3 with the Ravens and Chiefs in the NFL. The Saints ranked fourth in total team defense in 2019. They were second against the pass with just 194.1 yards allowed per game. I don’t expect much of a drop off for this team in 2020 either.
They’re going to rank, once again, as one of the best defenses in the league. We saw their elite status on display against Tom Brady and a very dangerous Buccaneers’ offense in Week 1. Brady was frustrated as the Saints didn’t allow him to get comfortable. Along with a pick-6, Brady threw 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions on 239 yards passing.
For all of the weapons on that team, I thought the Saints did a good job. The Saints can’t sleep on the Raiders on Monday night, but Derek Carr is not Tom Brady. And if Ruggs is out of the lineup, the Raiders’ offense becomes a whole lot more simple. If he does play, Ruggs won’t be competing at 100%. It will become a game of containing Josh Jacobs.
The Saints gave up only 66 yards on 3.9 yards per carry against the Bucs last week. Jacobs will get his, but preventing him from running wild will be important. The Raiders’ offensive line is not healthy going into Monday and that might be the difference here. Trent Brown is doubtful and unlikely to play. Richie Incognito is dealing with an Achilles injury, and two backups may not suit up as well.
Despite the absence of Michael Thomas for the Saints, I have faith in Brees generating offense against a shaky Las Vegas defense. The Panthers went through a lot of changes in the offseason and they managed to put up 30 points on them. Their defensive issues were well-documented in 2019, and it doesn’t appear that they’re ready to take a step forward. I’m on the Saints by a touchdown in a 27-20 kind of game on Monday Night Football. For more picks on the game tonight, check out our props for this primetime clash.