Sports | September 14, 2021 11:07 am

Raiders and Fans Make Vegas Debut On “Monday Night Football” With a Banger

Monday night's game, a win for the home team, was the first one at Allegiant Stadium with fans in the house

Darren Waller hands a glove to a fan following the team's 33-27 OT victory.
Darren Waller hands a glove to a fan following the team's 33-27 OT victory.
Ethan Miller/Getty

After a thriller last night during the first game at Allegiant Stadium with Raiders fans in the house, ESPN probably wishes that Monday Night Football could stay in Vegas.

Monday’s game between Baltimore and Las Vegas, which also saw the Manning brothers making their debut as broadcasters on ESPN, was fairly pedestrian with the Ravens dominating the scoreboard for most of the evening despite playing without their top three running backs. But the Raiders were able to hang around, and Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr was able to hit tight end Darren Waller for a game-tying 10-yard TD with 3:49 left in the fourth quarter.

That’s when things got really interesting.

Following the score, former MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson led the Ravens into field goal range quickly with a 28-yard scramble up the middle. That led to a 47-yard field goal by star kicker Justin Tucker that gave Baltimore a brief 27-24 lead. With Las Vegas having no timeouts, it didn’t look good for the home team. But Carr was able to lead Las Vegas to a 55-yard field goal from Daniel Carlson in the final 37 seconds that tied the game for the third time — in the fourth quarter.

Going against a Baltimore team that had won its past five openers by a margin of 177-26, Carr and the Raiders got the ball to start overtime and appeared to end it quickly after the 30-year-old QB completed a 33-yard TD pass to Bryan Edwards.

The stadium erupted and players started to embrace at midfield, but the celebration was halted when replay officials ruled Edwards was down before he entered the end zone and put the ball at the 1-yard line. When a false-start penalty pushed the Raiders back, Carr threw incomplete from the 5-yard line and then had his next pass go through the hands of Willie Snead IV and pop up into the air where Anthony Averett intercepted it.

But, only a few plays later, Carl Nassib forced Jackson’s second fumble of the game to get the ball back for Vegas. This was the first game Nassib was playing in since becoming the first active NFL player to come out as gay in the offseason. The six-year pro finished with three tackles, including the game-changing sack, on the night.

After the Raiders then attempted to kick a field goal but were flagged for delay of game, a perfect play call against a Baltimore defense that appeared to be napping produced a 31-yard touchdown pass from Carr to Zay Jones to give the Raiders a 33-27 win over the Ravens.

“Felt like I died and woke up. And died. And woke up again,” Las Vegas coach Jon Gruden said. “I was like a cat — I had multiple lives. Our defense made a signature play at the end of that game. They love football, they play for each other. We were down 14-0 to the Ravens and it didn’t look pretty, it didn’t look good. But when you can come back and find a way to win against a team like that, that’s saying something. That’s an impressive victory.”

It actually was.