Heading into the third quarter, it seemed that the Saints were going to start the season with a win in the Superdome, but a fourth quarter rally by the Oakland Raiders would give them the win on Sunday afternoon.
“If you were looking closely at that fourth quarter, we were having trouble stopping anything.” head coach Sean Payton said of the turnaround in the closing minutes.
The Raiders got on the board early after getting an early turnover off of a fumble from Drew Brees that gave them ideal field position, but had to settle for a 47-yarder from their veteran kicker Sebastian Janikowski to take an early 3-0 lead.
The Saints would trot out their new kicker in Will Lutz and he would tie things up with a 42-yard field goal to get his first three points of his career. But the Raiders would respond with a march down the field highlighted by a pair of passes from David Carr to second-year wideout Amari Cooper. The drive would end with a six yard run from Latavius Murray to make it 10-3.
The Saints would respond early in the second quarter with a short pass to Willie Snead on fourth and goal from the one yard line and tie it up once again. Brees would continue to connect with his favorite wideouts, this time throwing a dart to Brandin Cooks between two defenders to take their first lead of the game.
The scoring would continue for the Saints with the longest pass play in franchise history with Brees connecting with Cooks and he would proceed to dash down the sideline to make it 24-10.
After that score, the Raiders began to rally back with another Janikowski field goal to begin to cut away at the Saints lead. It would continue with Jamize Olawale finding paydirt after a quick drive to make it 24-19 after a failed two-point conversion.
The Saints would try to create more of a gap in the fourth quarter, but a failed rushing attempt from Brees, led to Will Lutz barely getting a 20-yarder that got blocked over the crossbar and it made it a eight point game. But the Raiders would quickly respond with a 75-yard run from Alexandria native Jalen Richard and followed that up with a pass to Cooper to tie things up again.
The Saints would waste little time getting down the field thanks to a couple of defensive pass interference and ended with a quick pass to Travaris Cadet to take a one-possesion lead.
The Raiders would take the lead after a five minute drive was capped off with a pass to Seth Roberts into the endzone followed by another successful two-point conversion and it left only 47 seconds for the Saints to try and win the game.
The Saints drove down the field, but because they had no timeouts they had to rely on the strong leg of their recently acquired kicker who had missed from 50 yards out earlier in the game. Lutz would line up for a 61-yarder and had the strength, but it wasn’t enough to get the win in his professional debut.
“I thought I hit it really well, but when I looked up it kind of moved left at the last second.” Lutz said of the kick, “I thought it was good off my foot, we’ll hit it next time.”
The Saints (0-1) will try to get on the winning side of things when they head to MetLife Stadium to take on the New York Giants with kickoff set for 12 pm,