Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio has a plan, and he’s going to stick to it. That plan is to go for two-point conversions with regularity, though extra points shouldn’t disappear entirely. That plan also apparently includes making gutsy calls with the game on the line.
One of those two-point conversions came when the Raiders trailed the New Orleans Saints in the fourth quarter of their Week 1 matchup. With under a minute to go and down seven points, Derek Carr hit Seth Roberts for a touchdown pass. But rather than kick the extra point to tie it, the Raiders went for the two-point conversion.
Carr completed the pass to Michael Crabtree for a successful two-point conversion and a 35-34 win over the Saints. Now the Raiders will move on to another NFC South opponent in the Atlanta Falcons, a team that didn’t fare quite as well as Oakland in their opener.
Despite being favored against their rivals, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Falcons looked lost in their Week 1 game and came out with a loss. Notably, Atlanta’s defense was completely incapable of stopping the Buccaneers over the course of the game.
The defense has been an issue for the Falcons for years now and it looks like they still haven’t solved the problem. Second year Tampa quarterback Jameis Winston threw for 281 yards and four touchdowns against the Falcons. The only bright spot on defense was Atlanta holding the Buccaneers to under 100 yards on the ground, but just barely.
Offensively, the Falcons looked good, but they were playing against a Tampa Bay defense that isn’t expected to finish among the best in the league this season. Matt Ryan completed 27 of 39 passes for 334 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
But he got no help from the running game, as the Falcons rushed for just 52 yards as a team. Running back Tevin Coleman was his leading receiver with five catches for 95 yards, and free agent pickup Mohamed Sanu caught five passes for 80 yards and a touchdown.
Against the Saints, Carr completed 24 of 38 passes for 319 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. The Saints also failed to generate an effective pass rush, as Carr wasn’t brought down for a single sack. The Raiders compiled 167 yards on the ground, 84 of which came from Jalen Richard on just three carries.
The Raiders are clearly on the rise, and with the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs both looking very beatable in Week 1 wins, the Raiders stand a serious chance at competing in the AFC West. It’s far too early to crown them, but starting the season with a 2-0 record would certainly help things.
For the Falcons, they need a win badly because the NFC South as a whole is looking very beatable. They were dominated by the rival Buccaneers, but both the Saints and the Carolina Panthers lost in Week 1.
How to Watch Falcons vs. Raiders on Sunday
Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Location: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, Calif.
Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon
Online Streaming: Sunday Ticket