Raiders vs. Saints final score: Derek Carr outplays Drew Brees as Vegas tops New Orleans in surprise win

Football in "Sin City" is now a thing, and the New Orleans Saints and Las Vegas Raiders gave us one heck of a "Monday Night Football" showdown, complete with a surprise outcome courtesy of a big night for Jon Gruden's squad. While the Saints jumped out to an early lead at Allegiant Stadium, carrying a 10-point advantage deep into the second quarter, Derek Carr and Co. proved to be the better unit as the night wore on. Using an efficient offensive attack and capitalizing on some uncharacteristic throws from Drew Brees, the Raiders improved to 2-0 on the 2020 season with a 34-24 upset of a presumed NFC heavyweight.

Here are some of our immediate takeaways from the Raiders' surprise victory on Monday night.

Is Drew Brees washed up? And how good are the Raiders? John Breech and Ryan Wilson join host Will Brinson on the Pick Six Podcast to break it all down; listen below and be sure to subscribe for NFL goodness.

Why the Raiders won

Believe it or not, Derek Carr was easily the best quarterback on the field Monday night. He started off so-so, infamously taking back-to-back sacks in the first half despite good protection up front, but was nearly flawless from that point on. The Raiders never really dialed up any deep shots for him, but that didn't matter, as he dinked and dunked his way to a showcase of incredible efficiency. It certainly helped that Darren Waller was virtually unstoppable as his top target, victimizing Malcolm Jenkins and looking like an actual No. 1 WR at tight end. The O-line also deserves props after neutralizing Cameron Jordan without two injured starters, as does the defense, which surrendered some long plays but never appeared fazed by the Saints' weapons. Johnathan Abram, in particular, was a force on the back end for Vegas, disrupting several Drew Brees passes and setting a physical tone for the rest of the unit.

Why the Saints lost

Drew Brees looked a lot more like a QB nearing retirement than one primed for a Super Bowl run. For whatever reason, No. 9 never seemed fully on target in Vegas, putting too much air on early throws, tossing an inexplicable interception and flat-out missing open targets after New Orleans lost its early lead. Don't be fooled by the fourth-quarter scoring drive that padded his stats; Brees was not good enough in prime time against a suspect defense, and he was the No. 1 reason the Saints could not keep up with Carr and the Raiders. Not having Michael Thomas, who was sidelined with an injury, obviously affected the offense, but only Alvin Kamara consistently flashed on that side of the ball. On "D," New Orleans died by a thousand cuts, with vets like Malcolm Jenkins and Janoris Jenkins regularly failing to put a stop to Carr's quick-strike attack. Things got worse as the game wore on, with Josh Jacobs and Jalen Richard making the visitors look gassed.

Turning point

The Saints owned a 10-point lead with just over five minutes left in the first half, but after a 10-play, 75-yard Raiders scoring drive capped by a Carr TD to Zay Jones, that lead was cut to three. Four plays later, Brees all but begged Las Vegas to steal every remaining ounce of momentum. Pressured up the middle on a first-down throw from his own 38, he just tossed the ball right over the middle -- with no clear receiver in sight -- and watched as Nicholas Morrow recorded the easiest INT of the year. The Raiders proceeded to tie the game at 17 with a field goal, then carry their surge into the second half en route to victory.

Play of the game

Whether it was more so Jalen Richard dazzling off the edge or the Saints getting lackadaisical, the former's big third-down TD run helped seal Vegas' upset:

What's next

The Saints (1-1) will be back in prime time in Week 3, when they return home to host "Sunday Night Football" against the Green Bay Packers (2-0), who have lit up the scoreboards under Aaron Rodgers' direction. The Raiders (2-0), meanwhile, will hit the road for an afternoon showdown with the New England Patriots (1-1), who came up just short against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night.

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September 22, 2020, 3:40 AM

Thanks for following along with us tonight! Be sure to follow CBS for all the latest NFL news!

September 22, 2020, 3:32 AM

Darren Waller and Carr were the co players of the game tonight. Carr throws for 282 yards and three scores, Waller catches 12 passes for 103 yards and a touchdowns. Jacobs gained a hard earned 88 yards and a score on 27 carries, while Kamara had 174 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns in a losing effort.

September 22, 2020, 3:31 AM

Huge upset, but this wasn't exactly the best weekend for Vegas sportsbooks.

September 22, 2020, 3:31 AM

Gruden places his trust in his kicker to try a 54-yard kick that would essentially end the game. Carlson did hit a 54-yarder last week, and he hit a 56-yarder in pregame warmups.

September 22, 2020, 3:25 AM

That costly penalty occurred on a third down too. Just an absolute back breaker. I think I'm going to have to go back and watch that play a few times. Might be the turning point in this game.

September 22, 2020, 3:21 AM

Saints just cut through the Raiders like a hot knife through butter. NO just sprinted 64 yards and seven plays, which is ideal for them because now they don't have to try an onside kick now, with 4:33 on the clock. Saints only have one timeout left, however, so their defense still needs to make a quick stop.

September 22, 2020, 7:14 AM

The Raiders are clearly running a shallow zone, they are DARING Brees to throw it deep! Just waiting on the Kamara checkdown which they have seen so many times tonight.

September 22, 2020, 3:10 AM

Raiders just capped off a 10-play, 89-yard drive that ended with Jalen Richard's 20-yard touchdown run. Renfrow's 17-yard catch on third and nine was the drive's biggest play. Las Vegas now just 7:43 away from being 2-0.

September 22, 2020, 3:06 AM

Absolutely unbelievable. The Raiders are on a 31-7 run and clicking on all cylinders. The Saints also lost a timeout on that last drive due to a bad challenge.

September 22, 2020, 3:06 AM

Play stands. More good news for the Raiders: Josh Jacobs is back on the field, runs for 13 yards as Raiders are now in field goal range, threatening to make it a two score game. 

September 22, 2020, 7:02 AM

Here's a look at the play. It appears Renfrow did get both knees on the ground before the ball came out. Would be a big first down for the Raiders, who would have the ball deep in Saints territory with 9:45 left.

September 22, 2020, 3:01 AM

Hunter Renfrow makes a clutch third down catch, but he is now off the field (along with Jacobs) after hitting his head on the turf. Saints challenging the catch. Renfrow did lose control after he was tackled, but it looked like he was down by contact.

September 22, 2020, 2:59 AM

Cameron Jordan just got flagged for a horse collar after tackling Jacobs for about a five-yard gain. Jordan didn't like the call, but he clearly grabbed the back of Jacobs' back. Jacobs has since left the game.

September 22, 2020, 6:57 AM
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