Throughout the 2023 regular season, we’ll keep tabs on and provide updates for a couple of notable former Las Vegas Raiders; Derek Carr and Darren Waller. Carr and Waller were both in action on Sunday for Week 1 as the New Orleans Saints took on the Tennessee Titans and the New York Giants hosted the Dallas Cowboys. Below is a recap of both players’ performances.
- Game result: 16-15, Saints win
- Carr stats: 23/33, 305 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
In a sense, this was the perfect way for Carr to begin his Saints career. He struggled against pressure, had an ugly play in the red zone that forced New Orleans to settle for a field goal and threw a bad interception that took a scoring opportunity off the table. But, he did put up a good stat line and made a couple of nice plays down the stretch to get the win. That’s fairly similar to how a lot of Carr’s games with the Raiders went as he was good enough to win but was also part of the reason why they were trailing.
New Orleans does need to do a better job of protecting Carr, though. He was sacked four times and another former Raider, Denico Autry, had four QB hits on his own. That’s tough for any quarterback to overcome and the former Raider is going to need better pass protection to be more effective throughout the season. Also, Carr and the Saints were the benefactors of Ryan Tannehill throwing three interceptions and the Titans failing to score a touchdown.
NFC South Standings:
- Atlanta 1-0 (+14)
- Tampa Bay 1-0 (+3)
- New Orleans 1-0 (+1)
- Carolina 0-1 (-14)
Carr and the Saints were able to keep pace with the rest of the division as the Falcons and Panthers played each other and the Buccaneers pulled off an upset against the Vikings. The NFC South is expected to be a tight race this year, so this ended up being a big early win for New Orleans.
- Game result: 40-0, Giants
- Waller stats: 3 catches, 36 yards
This game got pretty ugly pretty quickly as the Cowboys scored on the Giants’ opening possession and the contest was pretty much over from there. Waller led the team in receiving yards but that’s not saying much and his first catch didn’t come until New York was down 26-0 about halfway through the second quarter. He did have a nice 22-yard grab but it was just a miserable performance from the G-Men as a whole.
NFC East Standings:
- Dallas 1-0 (+40)
- Philadelphia 1-0 (+5)
- Washington 1-0 (+4)
- New York 0-1 (-40)
With the Commanders beating the Cardinals and the Eagles taking care of business against the Patriots, the Giants and Waller fall into whole in the division after Week 1. That’s a tough spot to be in seeing as the NFC East is expected to be a competitive division this season after sending three teams to the playoffs a year ago, including New York. However, they took a step backward in getting back to the tournament in 2023 and likely lost a lot of people’s confidence in them with that performance on Sunday Night Football.