The Oakland Raiders won the coin toss but deferred the kickoff so the Carolina Panthers started the game with the ball in front of a rowdy Raiders home crowd. Carolina didn't have the ball long as the Raiders defense came up with the 3 and out stop right away. The quick stop continued their streak of not allowing an opening drive touchdown so far this season, one of only 2 teams that still haven't given up opening drive scores.
Both teams traded off possessions for the next two drives before Oakland's offense got going. The first play of their 2nd drive of the day was a 32 yard screen play to Latavius Murray followed by a nice catch by Seth Roberts for 24 yards which put them inside the Carolina 10 yard line. The touchdown came on 3rd down to a jumping Seth Roberts who made a great catch in the back of the end zone to make the score 7-0 Oakland.
Carolina's response was quick. They were helped by a totally ridiculous roughing the passer penalty on Stacy McGee on the first play of their drive but then they followed that up with a 47 yard catch and run by running back Jonathan Stewart. The Panthers tied it up at 7 after that with an easy 3 yard QB bootleg run from Cam Newton one play after a defensive pass interference penalty on Karl Joseph.
The Silver and Black was ready for their own response to take the lead back though. They ground out a 10 play, 71 yard drive in retaliation to Carolina's score and it was very pretty. The longest play of the drive was to UDFA rookie Johnny Holton, Amari Cooper's childhood friend, who had a pretty pass dropped right into his hands for a 30 yard drive for a score. Their score came on the very next drive with a 4 yard Latavius Murray run up the gut to make the score 14-7 Raiders.
On the following kickoff Johnny Holton had excellent special teams coverage and tackled the return man for Carolina at their own 12. Their drive was a 3 and out after that with a Bruce Irvin sack on 3rd down to force a punt which Jalen Richard returned to the Carolina 46 for great field position for the Raiders. They got all the way down to the Carolina 5 yard line but couldn't get any closer so they settled for a 23 yard field goal from Sebastian Janikowski to make the score 17-7 Oakland.
The next 3 drives all went for naught for both teams, it took until Carolina had the ball again with just under 2 minutes left with for the next score. It wasn't the Panthers that scored though, it was Khalil Mack. The Panthers tried a screen pass backed up against their own end zone and Mack jumped up and snagged the pass and returned it for the touchdown. It was his first touchdown of his career and made the score 24-7.
The Panthers just ran the final minute of the clock out after that so the score at half time was 24-7 and it wasn't even that close. The Raiders have absolutely dominated this game and will start out with the ball first in the 2nd half.