Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Sports

Raiders 35, Saints 34

Raiders all in on gutsy calls in win

NEW ORLEANS — For Raiders coach Jack Del Rio, calling for a do-or-die, two-point conversion was less a gamble than a philosophical declaration.

Del Rio had no interest in a conservative point-after kick, and he let his offense know it well before the decision had to be made. So when Derek Carr hit Seth Roberts for a 10-yard touchdown to cut New Orleans' lead to a single point with 47 seconds left, kicker Sebastian Janikowski stood far from the action as Carr delivered a decisive timing pass to Michael Crabtree for a 35-34, season-opening victory Sunday.

"Everyone knew about our strategy," said Del Rio, the father of Florida starting quarterback Luke Del Rio. "I didn't really ask for any feedback there. I said, 'When we score here, we are going to go for 2 and win it right here.' "

"The belief and trust that coach has in us gives us so much confidence," Carr said.

Saints quarterback Brees called the late two-point try gutsy but not surprising.

"You'll see that from time to time. You feel like you have the momentum, and let's dial it up and let's win the game," Brees said. "I could see us doing that."

After the Raiders took their late lead, they still had to sweat out rookie kicker Wil Lutz's last-second field goal attempt from 61 yards, which narrowly missed wide left.

Brees' 98-yard touchdown pass to Brandin Cooks was a Saints franchise record.

35

34

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