This Monday will be the first professional football game to ever be played in the city of Las Vegas.
The 1-0 Las Vegas Raiders will be playing their first home game in franchise history against the New Orleans Saints. The Saints are also coming into Week 2 1-0 led by Coach Sean Payton and record-smashing quarterback Drew Brees.
Here are six things to watch for before the primetime game gets underway in the brand-new Allegiant Stadium.
1. Watch Out for Alvin Kamara
After giving up 93 rushing yards and two touchdowns to Christian McCaffrey, the Raiders are going up against a very similar running back in Alvin Kamara.
Kamara has proven himself to be one of the most versatile backs in the league with the ability to wreck a game with his running and pass-catching abilities. The All-Pro back is coming off a two-touchdown performance against Tampa Bay, one rushing, one receiving.
Defensive coordinator Paul Gunther has admired Kamara's speed since he was in college and is very aware that the Silver and Black defense needs to track his location at all times.
"Well, this guy is an explosive back," said Coach Guenther. "As a matter of fact, I was at his workout when [Kamara] was working out at Tennessee. He was an underused guy in college and I saw him run and I was like, 'Jeez, this guy can fly.' So, he does a lot of things for him, a lot like McCaffrey. He can go out in the flank and run routes. They use him on the jet sweeps and those kinds of things. And obviously, he's a dangerous guy in the backfield when he gets the ball. They use him very similar to how [Carolina] use McCaffrey, so we'll be ready for him wherever he's at."
2. RT No. 3
Both of the Raiders' right tackles went down early against the Panthers, which allowed Denzelle Good to be the unsung hero of the game.
Despite not taking any snaps at tackle all of training camp, Good stepped over from guard to tackle for Trent Brown (calf) and Sam Young (groin). With both Brown and Young missing practice both Thursday and Friday, Good is in line to potentially make the start at right tackle Monday night.
Even though he has limited snaps at tackle, Good is not completely unfamiliar to the position.
"We have a lot of confidence in Denzelle," said OC Greg Olson. "We've talked about it in the past. Just the depth that we have really across the board on our side of the ball. We felt going into training camp that we had very good depth in the offensive line and really across the board like I said. All positions: running back, quarterback, wide receivers, tight ends. But we didn't think that we would lose two tackles obviously in the opening game. And Denzelle has played some tackle in his past, so that helped him as well. And [offensive line coach] Tom Cable, he likes to train those guys to play every position across the board, so that has helped him. But a lot of confidence in our offensive line going forward."
3. Allegiant Stadium's field conditions
The Monday night showdown will be the first battle in Allegiant Stadium. Needless to say, the performance of both teams may be elevated by the stadium itself.
The teams will have the luxury of avoiding any harsh weather conditions and playing on solid grass. This may lead to the players' conditioning being ramped up as well as an increase in power and accuracy for kickers and punters.
Despite how luxurious the brand-new stadium is, defensive tackle Maurice Hurst is ready to play regardless.
"We would love to have fans there, but it will still be a great experience just to get in there under the lights on the big stage," said Hurst. "It's the greatest stadium in the NFL and it's honestly an honor to get to play in somewhere so nice and get to break it in and you got to protect your home and that's something that we have to do and it starts on Monday. If we were playing out in the parking lot I would hope we bring the same amount of energy."
4. Josh Jacobs will be getting the rock
I apologize if I'm stating the obvious, we all know Gruden is going to feed Jacobs.
Josh Jacobs is coming off a three-touchdown performance with over 90 yards rushing and over 40 yards receiving. Expect for the Raiders to feed their workhorse back against the Saints early and often.
Jacobs will look to continue showcasing his ability to catch out the backfield, something he has worked on throughout the offseason.
"He didn't want to be taken off the field, and part of our challenge to him was to become a complete route runner," said Greg Olson. "He did spend time with Hunter Renfrow and he did spend time with Jalen Richard, and we feel like he's developing into that full-time player. We're happy with his development in that area He can still get better. He's still out working right now with the quarterbacks, working on choice routes and other routes that we ask our running backs to run in third-down situations. So, it's been great."
5. Young Raiders secondary with another great test
The Raiders will be challenged again going up against an experienced Saints receiving core.
All-Pro receiver Michael Thomas is doubtful to play Monday night with an ankle issue, however, the Saints have more than enough to replace him.
The young Raiders secondary will have their hands full against Pro Bowlers Emmanuel Sanders and tight end Jared Cook, who led the Saints in catches and receiving yards with a five reception, 80-yard performance against the Buccaneers.
The secondary will be spearheaded by safety Johnathan Abram, who is coming off a 13-tackle performance in the win against Carolina. Abram also made some key plays against Christian McCaffrey, which will be needed as the Saints have a running game with the same skillset as McCaffrey in Alvin Kamara.
"Boy, I love having him on the field because he can run around and hit," said Coach Guenther regarding the second-year safety. "He's a great blitzer, great communicator and he brings a lot of energy. I think, going into last week's game, we got out there for the ceremonies and everything before the game and we come running out, it was just a weird feeling with an empty stadium. It was almost like a J.V. high school football game playing in a big stadium. I think guys understand what the environment is going to be like without the fans in there. So, he's a guy that brings juice to the field for us."
6. Will the Raiders receiving core be ready?
The Silver and Black will need their young receiving core to step up and make some plays. The Raiders will be going up against some talented corners in Marshon Lattimore and Janoris Jenkins.
Derek Carr will be looking to spread the ball around to rookie Bryan Edwards, Hunter Renfrow, and Zay Jones. These young players stepping up will be even more crucial if Alabama standout Henry Ruggs misses Monday's game due to a knee injury he sustained against the Panthers.
Tight end Darren Waller will also be a key part in the passing game against the Saints, as he has established himself as Carr's go-to target. Waller has been doing all that he can to help coach up the other young receivers around him going into the primetime showdown.
"I would just be on them about coverage recognition and just running fast," said Darren Waller. "Being able to see us evolve moving fast and not slowing down and sacrificing your gifts. If you know what you're supposed to do and the adjustments you're to make in certain situations then we can take advantage there. I have faith in those guys to get it done."
Check into Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center for another day of practice as the Silver and Black prepare for their home opener against the Saints.