Raiders vs. Saints final score: Dominant first half propels New Orleans to 28-20 win

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

New Orleans had to fend off a rally, but in the end, its outstanding first-half effort was the difference.

New Orleans dominated Oakland for 30 minutes and built a big lead, but the Saints had to fend off a rally by the Raiders' reserves in the second half to hang on for a 28-20 victory. The win moves the Saints' preseason record to 2-0, and Oakland fell to 1-1.

Drew Brees played until the tail end of the first half, and while he was under center, the team had little trouble moving the ball. He led New Orleans on five scoring drives, staking the Saints out to a 23-0 lead before Oakland finally got on the scoreboard. It could have been worse for the Raiders -- the Saints twice were limited to field goals after reaching the red zone. Brees finished the night 14 of 18 for 202 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions.

The Raiders were sluggish early on and they finished the first quarter with fewer than 40 yards of total offense. Matt Flynn finally found traction in the second quarter, hitting Denarius Moore for an 18-yard touchdown strike late in the period that narrowed the halftime deficit to 23-7.

Oakland's reserves rallied the team in the second half. Brees' replacement, Seneca Wallace, fumbled deep in Saints territory, and defensive end Ryan Robinson scooped it up for a score. The Raiders tacked on a field goal not long after that, and by the end of the third quarter, their deficit had been trimmed to 23-17. It was a rough 15 minutes for Wallace, who threw an interception in addition to losing that fumble.

By the time the Raiders stuffed New Orleans on fourth down at the Oakland one-yard line midway through the fourth quarter, they were down just three points. But the tide turned again after that; Raiders running back Jamize Olawale was taken down in the end zone for a safety two plays later. New Orleans extended its lead back to 28-20 with a field goal on its subsequent drive, and that would prove to be enough.

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