The Las Vegas Raiders got the ball first in their Monday night matchup against the Baltimore Ravens and unveiled their Marcus Mariota package.
The Las Vegas Raiders welcomed fans into Allegiant Stadium for the first time on Monday night, after fans were not allowed in during the pandemic during the 2020 season. Playing in front of Raider Nation to close out Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season, the Silver and Black got right to work, getting the ball first against the Baltimore Ravens.
During the drive, the Raiders unveiled their Marcus Mariota, something that has been rumored all summer long. Needing a short-yardage play on third down, Derek Carr split out, and Mariota took the shotgun snap, rushing 34 yards for the first down.
With an athlete like Mariota behind Carr, it makes sense to try and utilize both quarterbacks, and Gruden gave a taste of it on the very first drive of the new season.
Raiders squander momentum on the first drive
The big play by Mariota helped the Raiders drive down the field, but the drive would end badly for the Silver and Black. A bad snap moved the Raiders out of field goal range, and in the end, they had to punt away their first drive of the 2021 season.
Still, it was interesting to see the different play calls on the first drive, as Jon Gruden tries to utilize all of his weapons against a tough Ravens defense. Mariota looked very good in his only action against the Los Angeles Chargers in 2020, and after missing the entire preseason, it was good to see him out there.
It was an exciting start to the season inside Allegiant Stadium, but not getting points there could come back to hurt the Silver and Black later on. Also, both Denzelle Good and Josh Jacobs had to leave the game during the first drive, though Jacobs would return only one play later. That is something to keep an eye on moving forward.