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Final score: Raiders 34, Panthers 30

What an incredible first game for Las Vegas Raiders

Las Vegas Raiders v Carolina Panthers Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

A quick review of the Raiders’ wild 34-30 (there were seven lead changes!) win at Carolina, which was secured as Clelin Ferrell made a huge fourth-down stop:

Thanks Whitehead:
Former Raiders’ linebacker Tahir Whitehead committed a huge pass interference play on third down that set up a Josh Jacobs’ third touchdown of the game, which gave the Raiders a 34-30 lead with just over four minutes to go

Big play allowed:
Carolina quarterback Teddy Bridgewater hit Robby Anderson on a 75-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. Rookie cornerback Damon Arnette was beat and safety Erik Harris had a bad angle on the play. The result was a Carolina 30-27 lead.

Injury bug:
Tackles Trent Brown (calf) and Sam Young (groin) and linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski (pec) all left the game with injuries. We will monitor how serious the injuries are.

Third-quarter dominance:
The Raiders took over in the third quarter on both sides of the ball as they extended their lead from 17-15 to 27-15. The Raiders were not good in the third quarter last year. So, it is a good sign.

Early dose of Ruggs:
The Raiders went to first 2020 draft pick, receiver Henry Ruggs III in the first two series and it paid off with a 45-yard connection for Derek Carr to the rookie inside the one-yard line on the second drive. It set up a Josh Jacobs touchdown. Get used to this. But Ruggs hurt his ankle and was pretty quiet in the second half.

Unity:
The Raiders locked arms to show unity during the national anthem.

Nice boot:
Daniel Carlson, who struggled last year, hit a 54-yard field goal in the third quarter, saving a drive in which the Raiders burned a time out for no reason.

Pass-rush help: The Raiders didn’t get much pass-rush pressure, so they used backups Carl Nassib and Arden Key more in the fourth quarter. It will be interesting to see if that continues.

Gamesmanship:
The Panthers chose to wear white jerseys and thus, the Raiders were wearing their home black jerseys. The reason? It was hot in Carolina and the home team decided to put the Raiders in the darker jersey for comfort reasons.

What’s next:
The Raiders open Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Monday, Sept. 21 against New Orleans.

Oh, and, Cindy Gruden and Tiger Woods.