Monday night's 33-27 over the Baltimore Ravens was not at all what the Las Vegas Raiders imagined their season opener would be like.
"I felt like I died and woke up and died again," Head Coach Jon Gruden said. "I was like a cat. I had multiple lives tonight. I don't like playing like that; it was tough. But again, we did a lot of really good things to win that football game tonight."
One of those really good things came from kicker Daniel Carlson. With seven seconds left in the fourth quarter and down by three, Carlson iced the game with a 55-yard field goal — a career-long for the four-year veteran — sending the game into overtime and the raucous crowd into a frenzy inside Allegiant Stadium.
What came next, though, was an even wilder series of events.
A coin toss win set the Raiders up to march down the field and put the nail in the coffin thanks to Bryan Edwards -- who didn't notch his first catch of the game until 37 seconds left in the fourth quarter -- catching a 33-yarder from Carr.
Except that wasn't the end — even though players were swarming the field and shaking hands. Upon further review, Edwards was ruled short by one yard and the Silver and Black attempted to make another game-winning play. However, penalties moved them back and an interception in the end zone by Ravens cornerback Anthony Averett left Allegiant Stadium deflated.
"Playing a team like this, defense like this and a superstar like Lamar, you know it's going to be a tough fight. ... But we were able to handle it," Carr said postgame.
That's when the revamped defense, led by defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, stepped up in the biggest way possible. Defensive end Carl Nassib sacked Lamar Jackson and forced a fumble, recovered by Darius Philon and putting the Raiders in position to -- once again -- attempt to end Monday Night Football.
"Carl, he works super hard and you see that. It's the biggest play of the game. He comes out and gets a strip sack, that's what we talk about all the time," Maxx Crosby said. "Carl's a baller and I'm proud of the guy."
On a 2nd-and-9 from Baltimore's 26 yard line, the Raiders got into field goal formation before a delay of game penalty and a decision to bring the offense back out onto the field.
"I hear in my headset Coach calling personnel, so I start running back out there," Carr said with a laugh. "I'm glad Coach trusted us and put it in our hands at the end because it always feels good to win that way, especially when you almost gave it away."
Carr ultimately found wide receiver Zay Jones for a 31-yard touchdown catch to seal the 33-27 win.
"Zay Jones, since he got to our team, every time when I've asked him to throw, he's there at 6 a.m. Every time. He's never missed one," Carr said of the wide receiver in a postgame interview with ESPN. "So to see him come up with the game winner like that, these last two times we've been [on] Monday night, he's got two touchdowns, I hope everybody in the world roots for Zay Jones because he works harder than anybody on our team."
The win was boosted by a full house of Raider Nation fans for the first time at the Silver and Black's new home field — something many players fed off of and were ecstatic to be surrounded by.
"Las Vegas, I tip my hat to you," Carr said. "You guys showed up."
View photos from the Raiders' Week 1 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens at Allegiant Stadium.