The Oakland Raiders and New Orleans Saints got off to solid starts in the 2013 NFL preseason with wins in their first game. On Friday night, the two teams will face off in Week Two.
Oakland beat the Dallas Cowboys 19-17 last week, even though “America’s Team” already had a game under their belt. Eddy Carmona hit a 23-yard field goal with 8:11 left to give the Raiders the final lead of the night. New Orleans squeaked by the Kansas City Chiefs 17-13. They came back from a 10-0 deficit for the victory.
While Oakland has plenty of question marks heading into the season, their biggest issue lies at quarterback. After trading Carson Palmer to the Arizona Cardinals in the offseason, Matt Flynn has become the favorite to open up the year as the starting quarterback. Flynn showed promise as a backup with the Green Bay Packers, but disappointed with the Seattle Seahawks and had a rough start to practice with the Raiders.
In his limited time against the Cowboys, Flynn was efficient, completing four of five passes for 37 yards. He should get more playing time on Friday as he battles with Terrelle Pryor, Matt McGloin and Tyler Wilson for the job. Pryor may be Flynn’s biggest competition, but may not have done himself any favors by throwing an interception in Week One. He did add three rushes for 31 yards.
The Saints are set at quarterback with Drew Brees. Backup Luke McCown did impress, though, against the Chiefs, going 18-for-28, with two touchdowns and one interception. He linked up with wide receiver Preston Park for touchdown passes.
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New Orleans head coach Sean Payton will pay special attention to the defensive side of the ball. Despite a dynamic offense, the Saints missed the 2012 because of their inability to stop opposing teams. The club will be without a few key players, since Jonathan Vilma is set to miss the entire preseason with knee surgery. Defensive end Kenyon Coleman is also set to miss the contest with a pectoral tear that should keep him out for all of 2013. Defensive tackles Akiem Hicks, Tom Johnson and Jay Richardson will have an opportunity to earn more time on the field.
At Las Vegas casinos, the Saints are the biggest favorites of Week Two. They are giving the Raiders 6.5 points, according to the latest betting odds.
Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET at the Mercedez-Benz Superdome. The game won’t be nationally televised, though it’s set to air locally in Oakland on KTVU/KICU. Viewers can watch a live stream online with a subscription to NFL Preseason Live.