The final game of Week 2 of the NFL season marks a major milestone for the league, as the Las Vegas Raiders make their home debut after swapping California for Nevada and Sin City hosts its first ever NFL game.
The New Orleans Saints are the first team to visit the state-of-the-art Allegiant Stadium on Monday Night Football, when both them and the Raiders will be looking to follow up Week 1 wins with another victory.
Here’s all you need to know ahead of the Raiders’ first ever game in Las Vegas.
- Kickoff time—The Raiders host the Saints at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. ET on Monday, September 21.
- TV channel—ESPN
- Live stream—ESPN’s digital platforms and watchESPN.
- Odds—FanDuel has the Saints as 5.5-point favorite and 9/10 to cover the spread, while the over/under line for total points scored is set at 49.5. In moneyline terms, New Orleans is a 11/25 favorite, while Las Vegas is a 19/10 outsider.
- Series record—The series is tied at 6-6-1, but the Saints have won three of the last four meetings between the two teams.
Ten teams improved to a 2-0 record on Sunday and by the end of Monday Night Football the number will have risen to 11, the joint most in NFL history for a single season along with 1998, 2006 and 2008.
All there is left to discover is whether the 11th team will be the Las Vegas Raiders or the New Orleans Saints, seeing as both franchises kicked off the season with a win. The Raiders squeezed by the Carolina Panthers, winning 34-30 in Charlotte, while the Saints ruined Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay debut by defeating the Bucs 34-23 at home. Important as beginning the year on the front foot was, both teams left themselves plenty of room for improvement.
Newsweek subscription offers >
The Saints had just 271 yards of total offense in the win against the Bucs, with both Sean Payton and Drew Brees shouldering responsibility for a less-than-stellar performance and both describing their respective performances as “awful.”
The 41-year-old threw for touchdowns in the season opener but racked up just 166 passing yards as he went 18-for-30 against Tampa Bay.
According to Next Gen Stats’ analytics, only 32.3 percent of Brees’ passes were ranked as “successful,” his second-worst figures since 2016, reigniting the debate over whether the stratospheric standards he’s set for himself in almost two decades in the NFL may finally be slipping. With star wideout Michael Thomas ruled out of MNF with a high ankle sprain, Brees will have to do without one of his favorite targets in Las Vegas, but his previous performances against the Raiders point towards a rebound for the veteran quarterback.
In 11 starts against the Raiders, Brees has thrown 23 touchdown passes against just four interceptions for a 108.6 passer rating and has had at least two touchdowns and a passer rating of at least 120 in the last four games against Monday night’s opponents. Thomas’ absence should mean an increased workload for Alvin Kamara, who had 67 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns in Week 1 and is looking for a third consecutive road game with at least two scores.
If the Saints’ running back will be heavily involved, his Raiders’ counterpart should feature just as prominently. Josh Jacobs had three touchdowns and 139 yards from scrimmage as Las Vegas got off to a winning start in Week 1. Ominously for New Orleans, the second-year running back averages 134 yards from scrimmage and almost two touchdowns per game in the last four games against an NFC South team, has passed the 100-yard from scrimmage threshold in the last five home games and in the last two primetime games the Raiders have played.