Saints at Raiders – Second Quarter

At the beginning of the second quarter, the Saints have gained 202 yards to the Raiders’ 44.

Saints’ third possession continued – It didn’t take long for the Saints to finish their drive.  A run for three yards, and two passes for a combined 20, put the Saints in the end zone and the crowd has been booing since.

Saints 21 – Raiders 0

Saints kickoff – Nick Miller is deep to receive.  Kicked three yards in end zone, Miller returns it to the Raiders’ 23-yard line.

Raiders’ third possession – A comedy of errors prevented this drive from going anywhere.  On first and 10 from the Raiders’ 23, Darren McFadden took a run off the left tackle for approximately 20 yards, but the play was called back due to a holding on Zach Miller.  The Raiders then tried passing to McFadden for a four-yard gain and then a six yard pass to Miller, leaving them with a third and seven situation.  Russell found Louis Murphy on third down for what appeared to be a first down, but Murphy fumbled the ball, which was recovered by the Saints at the Raiders’ 22-yard line.  The officials ruled the pass incomplete, before the Saints challenged the ruling.  The ruling on the field stood and Schmitt came on to punt.  There was a false start on Sam Williams, forcing Schmitt to punt from the Raiders’ eight-yard line.  Schmitt punted 38-yards to the Saints’ 39, which wasn’t returned thanks to Gary Russell.

Saints’ fourth possession – Mark Brunell comes into the game at quarterback.  It looks as though the Saints brought in several second-team guys and the Raiders’ first team is able to force them to go three and out and allow only three yards on a a run.  The punt goes 32-yards and Johnnie Lee Higgins fair catches it at the Raiders’ 26.

Raiders’ fourth possession – The Raiders again can’t get a first down.  On second and seven, JaMarcus is almost sacked when Mario Henderson is beaten around the edge, but Russell scrambles, rolls right, and throws a strike to Louis Murphy–who again drops the pass.  On third down, Russell overthrows an open Johnnie Lee Higgins.  Schmitt comes in and punts it 50-yards and the Saints get a four-yard return to their own 24-yard line.

Saints’ fifth possession – Once again, the Saints were able to move the ball downfield, but this time it was thanks to the spotty coverage by Stanford Routt.  After allowing a 19-yard run on third and one, Brunell went deep to Routt’s guy.  Routt was beaten badly and faceguarded his man for a 31-yard pass interference penalty.  Two plays later on second and eight, Routt was again called for pass interference when the receiver fell in front of him at the seven.  After holding the Saints on two plays, Brunell threw an easy touchdown pass to a chorus of boos, but a holding penalty on the Saints, put the ball at the Raiders’17 and a Saints repeat of third down.  Brunell went back and threw another easy touchdown between Tyvon Branch and Thomas Howard, but an illegal formation penalty saved the day.  The Saints would get another illegal formation penalty called on the next play and after a 10-yard run, it was fourth and goal at the Raiders’ 17.  John Carney came on for the 35-yard field goal.

Saints 24 – Raiders 0

Saints kickoff – Kicked to Miller eight yards in the end zone.  Miller downs it.

Raiders’ fifth possession – After a swing pass to McFadden that resulted in a first down for the Raiders, McFadden was given the ball to run with it–he fumbled, and it was recoved by the Saints.  They returned it to the Raiders’ six-yard line.  The Raiders challenged the call, but lost and lost a timeout in the process.

Saints’ sixth possession – On their first play from the Raiders’ six, Trevor Scott nearly sacked Brunell who threw it out of bounds.  The next play, Scott was again in the process of sacking Brunell when he threw–this time a Raider was there to catch it.  Hiram Eugene intercepted the pass in the end zone and returned it to the Raiders’ 30-yard line.

Raiders’ sixth possession – Russell threw to McFadden for a gain of six on second down.  On third and four, a delayed blitz caused Russell to get sacked for a loss of 12 yards and the punt team came out.  Schmitt punted 43 yards on the punt, but a flag for returning to the field after going out of bounds was called on the Raiders. Schmitt re-kicked from five-yards closer to his own end zone and this time booted it 47 yards.  After a three-yard return, the Saints had the ball at their own 24-yard line.

Saints’ seventh possession – After starting with a four-yard run, Brunell connected with Meacham on what should’ve been a five-yard play.  Stanford Routt was covering, and missed the tackle, as did the rest of the team.  Meacham scrambled 71-yards downfield to the Raiders’ one before being taken down.  The two minute warning was called.  After Sam Williams stuffed the run on first and goal, the Raiders allowed the final yard and another Saints score.

Saints 31 –  Raiders 0

Saints kickoff – Nick Miller returns from the Raiders’ five to the 30-yard line before being knocked out of bounds.

Raiders’ seventh possession – Russell isn’t able to find an open man, has his arm hit as he throws incomplete on the first play of the drive.  That wasn’t enough for these Raiders–Gallery was called for holding.  After completing two passes for 11 yards, the Raiders were faced with a third and nine.  Russell was sacked for a ten-yard loss from the left side of the line, bringing out Schmitt for another punt.  The punt was nearly blocked, and should’ve warranted a penalty for roughing the kicker, but no flags and no blocks.  The punt went 49-yards and was returned for 24 yards to the Raiders’ 46-yard line.

Saints’ eighth possession – Brunell, with less than 15 seconds to go, stepped up and heaved the ball into the end zone, the ball was tipped by two Raiders and nearly caught by a Saint in the end zone.  With one second, Brunell heaved it the Raiders’ five, which was picked by Chris Johnson and returned to the 50.  The half ends with loud boos.

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