Perhaps Sunday was a turning point for the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium.
While the venue is undeniably beautiful, it’s been a rocky start for the Raiders in their new stadium. They went 2-6 at home in their first season in Las Vegas last year in an empty stadium ... and haven’t fared much better this year. The Raiders entered Sunday’s home game against the Denver Broncos on a three-game losing streak at home. Allegiant Stadium has been flooded by fans of opposing teams in 2021, and die-hard Silver and Black fans have let their angst be known. Yet on Sunday, Raiders fans were loud and were a factor in the second half of the Raiders’ comeback 17-13 victory over the Broncos that kept their playoff hopes alive.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and interim head coach Rich Bisaccia were impressed with the efforts of the fan base.
“Absolutely, this was the most home field advantage feeling I’ve felt all season, and it was really cool,” Carr said. “The way they were loud on defensive. We would hit a big play into the red zone, and it was quiet. Thank you, you know that stuff matters. We have to be able to communicate and you want that to be an advantage when you are at home. So, I say thank you to our fans, I thought today was unbelievable. They did a great job.
Hopefully we made some plays to get them excited for the defense and they did. When we were on offense they’d clap and then sit down until we were able to score a field goal or touchdown and that helps us when we’re at home. It’s an advantage for us.”
Interim head coach Rich Bisaccia mirrored that sentiment:
“We kept them [the fans] in the game early. They were excited for us, certainly, their towels were waving. Then we dulled their spirits a little bit right before the half. It was exciting to feel the second half when we started to run the ball like that, they started to come back to life. It was electric, we thought on the sideline. I think you saw Maxx [Crosby], Yannick [Ngakoue] and those guys working the crowd. It was exciting for us to do a good enough job to get them back in, the crowd, and make them be a part of the game on the plus side for us. We were excited to finally get a win at home and for our crowd to be behind us. It was exciting to hear Raider Nation. They were loud, they were really loud at the end.”
It was a great scene and perhaps it will be the start of true home-field advantage in Las Vegas.