NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 1 Game Recap: Las Vegas Raiders 33, Baltimore Ravens 27

Sep 13, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) celebrates the overtime victory against the Baltimore Ravens at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders gave their fans a night to remember in the first full-attendance game at Allegiant Stadium, taking down Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens 33-27 in a wild overtime thriller.


Click here for more PFF tools:

Rankings & ProjectionsWR/CB Matchup ChartNFL & NCAA Betting DashboardsNFL Player Props toolNFL & NCAA Power Rankings


LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

Quarterback

Carr was clearly rusty out of the gate, completing just two of his first 10 passes. His worst play possibly came on a completion, as he checked the ball down and missed the wide open Darren Waller downfield.

Carr recovered in the second half, though, finishing the contest with a 73.5 pass grade and an 86.4 grade in the second half and overtime. To put it simply, Carr looked like a different quarterback late in the game.

Derek Carr ATT COMP YDS TD INT aComp% RTG
1st half 25 12 127 0 0 62.5% 63.3
2nd half & OT 31 22 308 2 1 88.9% 110.7

He led a near-flawless drive to force OT and carried over that momentum on the first drive of the extra period. He unleashed his best pass of the game to Bryan Edwards to put Vegas at the one-yard line. Remarkably, the Raiders didn’t score, as Carr’s pass on third-and-goal bounced off the hands of Willie Snead IV and was picked off. A Jackson fumble gave Carr one more chance to be the hero, and he didn’t disappoint, tossing up a floater to Zay Jones for the game-winning score.

Running back

Josh Jacobs gave fantasy managers a scare, limping off the field on the first drive of the game. He came back a few plays later, out-snapping Kenyan Drake eight to two on the opening drive. Drake closed the gap as the game flow shifted towards the pass — Jacobs finished with a 52.3% snap percentage compared to Drake’s 47.7%.

Rushing Grade ATT YDS TD YPC
Kenyan Drake 62.3 6 11 0 1.8
Josh Jacobs 69.9 10 34 2 3.4

Jacobs saved his best for late, slicing through the Baltimore defense for a fourth-quarter touchdown.

Drake did add another element to the receiving game, hauling in five receptions for 59 yards on 23 receiving snaps.

Receivers

Carr may not realize he has other receivers out there not named Darren Waller. The tight end commanded an absurd 18 targets — Hunter Renfrow trailed far behind with nine. Carr’s subpar play early hindered any potential for an elite performance, though, as Waller saw just four catchable passes in the first half. He still paced the Vegas receiving room in just about every meaningful statistical category.

Name Snaps TGT REC YDS YPRR*
Darren Waller 57 18 10 105 1.84
Hunter Renfrow 37 9 6 70 1.89
Bryan Edwards 39 5 4 81 2.08
Henry Ruggs III 35 5 2 46 1.31
Zay Jones 17 2 2 46 2.71
Willie Snead IV 2 1 0 0 0.00

*YPRR = yards per route run

Jalen Ramsey’s worst nightmare finished with a 68.5 receiving grade 40 snaps, while Henry Ruggs pulled in two receptions, including a clutch deep catch late to set up Waller’s game-tying touchdown.

Bryan Edwards was invisible until the fourth quarter and overtime when he hauled in four catches for 81 yards. Speaking of invisible, Zay Jones decided to make an impact on the game at the last possible moment, bringing in one of his two catches on the game-winner from Carr.

Offensive line

Tackle Kolton Miller led the way on the offensive line, earning a 90.8 pass-blocking grade. Rookie Alex Leatherwood struggled mightily in his first career game, giving up two sacks and a 49.0 run-blocking grade.

Defensive line

It’s impossible to contain Jackson, but the Raiders did a good job early, tallying a sack on the opening drive of the contest. They continued to live in Baltimore’s backfield throughout the marathon, as edge rushers Yannick Ngakoue and Maxx Crosby both finished with pass-rush grades above 90.0. Crosby made the defensive play of the night in overtime, stripping Jackson to set up the Raiders offense for the win.

Linebackers

It was a mediocre day for the Vegas linebacking corps. Jonathan Abram led the group with a 62.6 overall grade on 68 snaps, while also converting 40 pass coverage snaps into a rock-solid 69.7 pass-coverage grade. Nick Kwiatkowski, meanwhile, put up an above average 71.4 run defense grade.

Secondary

The oft-maligned group held Jackson to 235 yards through the air. Casey Hayward Jr. led the group with an 82.8 pass-coverage grade and didn’t allow a reception on two targets thrown his way despite being in coverage for 39 snaps. Rookie safety Trevon Moehrig needs some time to adjust to the NFL, putting up a less-than-stellar 58.8 coverage grade.

BALTIMORE RAVENS

Quarterback

Jackson looked surprisingly human at points against PFF’s 28th-ranked defense coming into the season, but he got it done when it counted. As usual, the former Heisman winner’s legs made the difference, as Jackson totaled 86 yards on 12 carries, including six scrambles, but he also had the costly fumble.

Jackson was average throwing the ball with a 73.4 overall passing grade. He did, however, have two turnover-worthy pass plays that the Raiders couldn’t convert into turnovers. His 9.1 average depth of target ranked 18th in the league for Week 1.

Running back

Decimated by injury, the Ravens’ running back room performed rather well. Ty’Son Williams led the way in his first career NFL game, garnering 12 total touches for a total of 94 yards. The undrafted back split rushing duties with Latavius Murray, while  Trenton Cannon was nothing more than afterthoughts. Murray did vulture a touchdown from Williams late, but he only averaged 2.8 yards per carry.

Name ATT YDS TD YPC
Latavius Murray 10 28 1 2.8
Ty'Son Williams 9 65 1 7.2
Trenton Cannon 2 5 0 2.5

Williams silenced the new Black Hole in the first quarter with a 35-yard scamper for the opening touchdown on fourth down. The former BYU Cougar especially shined after first touch, muscling his way to 54 yards after contact.

Receivers

Death, taxes and Week 1 Sammy Watkins. The journeyman wideout saw seven targets, which he converted into four catches for 96 yards and a 69.4 receiving grade. 

Marquise “Hollywood” Brown lived up to his first-round talent Monday night, hauling in six receptions for 69 yards, a touchdown and the unit’s highest-receiving grade — 72.1. Stud tight end Mark Andrews was anything but that in Vegas. He tallied just three catches for 20 yards and was used as almost a safety blanket rather than a true weapon — his .53 yards per route run ranked second-lowest among Ravens receivers with at least one catch.

Offensive line

It was a rough night for Alejandro Villaneuva, to put it gently. He operated more as a turnstile than an offensive tackle, allowing two sacks, six hurries and 10 pressures on his way to an abysmal 11.7 pass-blocking grade. Ronnie Staley didn’t fare much better on the other side with his 19.6 pass-blocking grade, as he allowed seven hurries and seven pressures. Hey, at least his run-blocking was solid — Staley put up a 70.4 run-block grade, the best on the line.

Defensive line

The defensive line got home to Carr twice, once by rookie Jayson Oweh and once by veteran Justin Houston, who put up pass-rush grades of 56.1 and 68.5, respectively. The Baltimore line fared much better in rush defense, as four linemen graded above 70 in run defense grade: Oweh, Houston, Calais Campbell and Justin Ellis. The quartet had just one missed tackle between them as well (Campbell).

Linebackers

Patrick Queen delivered the play of the night for the linebacking unit, coming as a free blitzer to wreck Carr in the backfield. Queen finished the night with eight tackles on 67 snaps and a 62.2 overall grade, while Tyus Bowser struggled in his time on the field. He had two missed tackles on his way to a poor 53.7 overall grade and 44.2 run defense grade.

Secondary

The back end was anchored by Marlon Humphrey, at least early on. In the first half, Humphrey didn’t allow a catch on two targets, but he surrendered seven catches for 91 yards and a touchdown in the second half and overtime. His grades stayed fairly consistent throughout the contest, finishing with a modest 71.7 pass-coverage grade to lead the unit.

Know tomorrow, today. Western Southern Financial Group.
Sponsor

NFL Featured Tools

  • Power Rankings are PFF’s NFL power ratings based on weekly player grades in each facet of play. These power rankings are adjusted based on coach, quarterback and the market each season.

    Available with

    Edge
  • PFF predictions and real time spread, moneyline and over/under lines for each NFL game.

    Available with

    Elite
  • PFF's Player Props Tool reveals betting opportunities within player prop markets.

    Available with

    Elite
  • PFF's exclusive metrics provide matchup previews, position rankings, grades, and snap counts.

    Available with

    Edge
  • Our exclusive database, featuring the most in-depth collection of NFL player performance data.

    Available with

    Elite
Pro Subscriptions

Unlock NFL Player Grades, Fantasy & NFL Draft

$9.99 / mo
$39.99 / yr

Unlock Premium Stats, PFF Greenline & DFS

$34.99 / mo
$199.99 / yr