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Carr, Gruden wowed by Darren Waller's 'astonishing' performance vs. the Saints

Darren Waller.

That's it; that's the lede.

In the first professional football game to ever be played in Las Vegas, Waller and the Silver and Black came through with a phenomenal upset over the New Orleans Saints in their brand-new stadium.

The Raiders offense clicked on all cylinders today against the Saints, capping off their second straight week of scoring 34 points in a game.

Carr was again able to deliver an MVP-caliber performance, throwing for 282 yards and three touchdowns. He completed a pass to 11 different receivers with Darren Waller being his go-to guy throughout the game.

For Waller, it was a throwback Kellen Winslow, Tony Gonzales-level game as a receiving tight end. He finished with 12 receptions, one short of his career high, with 102 yards and a touchdown. Derek Carr hopes that this performance by Waller will put the rest of the league on notice.

"I think he did an exceptional job," Carr said. "Like I told Lisa Salters and everybody in the production meeting, whoever watches this game gets to see everything about Darren Waller that we know of him to be. He's not only one of the best players in the NFL, but he's one of the best humans in the NFL. I love that man; he's a great guy, great player and I'm glad to be his quarterback. I'm honored."

Waller described his relationship with his quarterback as something special that first developed when he was signed by the Raiders in 2018.

"Just in Bible study environments, me being open about things that I was going through and him welcoming me and not judging me in anyway," Waller said about getting to know Carr. "From there it was a thing where I didn't want to let him down and wanted to be there for him because I know he was there for me, and he's been there for me ever since. Once that was there, it's kind of easy to translate it over to the field. We just put the work in."

Waller was proud of the receiving core as a whole with key production from rookie Bryan Edwards, slot receiver Hunter Renfrow and former Bills receiver Zay Jones who caught a 15-yard touchdown in the first half.

"Our offensive balance right now is amazing," Waller said. "We could see it coming from training camp and once we first got together as a team and started doing stuff, you could tell there's a lot of guys that deserve to have opportunities to get the rock because they're going to make things happen. I'm just thankful that I can be apart of that group and a part of that balance, someone they can count on to make plays whenever I'm called upon. Whatever (my) numbers look like, that's cool with me, but as long as our balance is there and we keep attacking and keep the defense on their heels, that's all I want."

Coach Gruden is also very appreciative of Waller's performance and like Derek Carr hopes this performance puts his name up there as an elite tight end in this league.

"Darren Waller is a great player, and our job is to get him the ball," said Coach Gruden. "I'll take him out of any of the tight ends, and I know (Greg) Kittle and (Travis) Kelce are as good as they get, but Waller is right up there with them.

"This is his second year playing the position, and it's astonishing what this man can do.

View photos from the Raiders' Week 2 matchup against the New Orleans Saints at Allegiant Stadium on Monday Night Football.

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