Raiders vs Saints 20-28: Raiders have ugly start but make game of it

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

The Raiders drop their second preseason game of 2013 in New Orleans to the Saints 20-28.

The Raiders would have been hard pressed to look much uglier than they did to start. There weren't any turnovers but that is pretty much the only solace one could find.

The stat of the night may have been the first quarter numbers. The Saints outgained the Raiders 158 to 38 in the first quarter and were up 17-0 heading into the second quarter.

The Saints offense played like they were alone on the field and their pass rush was relentless against the Raiders' anemic offensive line.

The Saints scored on their first three consecutive drives - field  goal, touchdown, touchdown. At times Drew Brees had so long to throw, it was downright comical. The final touchdown pass, the Raider had three down linemen and none of them could get anywhere near Brees as he stood and surveyed the field. He eventually found a receiver, of course to go up 17-0.

The defense would hold up a little better in the 2nd quarter if you consider holding the Saints to just two more field goals as holding up.

The Raiders offensive line gave up almost constant pressure and Flynn was sacked five times in the first half. And late in the second quarter, the Raiders were down by a score of 23-0.

It wasn't until the final drive of the first half that things actually started to improve. The Raiders offense moved 82 yards on 11 plays, culminating in an 18-yard touchdown strike from Matt Flynn to Denarius Moore. It would send the Raiders into the locker room with some points on the board before halftime.

The worse news from the first half was injuries. The team watched as projected starters Tracy Porter (groin) and David Ausberry (shoulder) both left the field injured.

Once the second teams came out for the second half, things improved - At least for the Raiders defense, anyway. The same can't be said for the offense.

The Saints kept Terrelle Pryor almost completely in check. He rarely had any room to run and completed just one pass for nine yards. Late in the quarter, following an Omar Gaither interception that had the Raiders starting at the Saints' 21-yard line, Pryor had a touchdown run called by a holding penalty and the Raiders would kick a field goal from seven yards farther back than the drive began.

With Drew Brees replaced by Seneca Wallace along with the rest of the Saints second team, the Raiders 2nd team defense started playing very well.

The first Saints drive ended with a three and out. The next three drives ended in turnovers. Two forced fumbles and an interception with one of the forced fumbled recovered in the endzone by Ryan Robinson for a Raiders touchdown. The final turnover resulted in a field goal to bring the Raiders to within a score at 17-23.

Sio Moore tried to make it a fourth turnover on a forced fumble but the Saints recovered. Even still, thanks to a Saints penalty on the punt return, the Raiders started their next drive ast the Saints' 43 yards line. A ten yard pass from Matt McGloin to Andre Holmes and the Raiders were in field goal range. Janikowski trotted on and kicked a 51-yard field goal to bring them to within a field goal, 20-23.

The Raiders defense would hold up one more time on a Saints' 4th and goal at the one yard line. But when the Raiders took the ball at their own one yard line, the offensive line could not open up any running room, resulting in a safety.

The Saints would add one more field goal for the final score of 20-28.

Matt Flynn would finish by going 12 of 16 for 126 yards and a touchdown in two quarters of work.

Terrelle Pryor went 1 for 5 for 9 yards and rushed 4 times for 15 yards in one quarter of work.

Matt McGloin went 4 for 7 for 32 yards and had the only interception by a Raiders quarterback on the day.

The Raiders had a total of 62 yards on the ground and didn't have a single rusher who had numbers outside the teens. This was led by Darren McFadden who ran five times for 17 yards (3.4 ypc).

Brice Butler led the team in receiving again this week. He had 3 catches for 38 yards.

Jack Crawford came out on fire in the second half. He had a tackle on the kick return, a sack, and then a pressure. he finished with five combined tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss, a QB hurry, a fumble recovery, and 2 tackles on returns.

The Raiders couldn't stop Saints phenom, Kenny Stills, who caught all four passes thrown his way for 64 yards and a touchdown.

Drew Brees carved up the Raiders' defense to the tune of 14 of 18 for 202 yards and touchdown in two quarters of work.

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