Saints squander 14 point lead, fall to Raiders

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 11:  Michael Crabtree #15 of the Oakland Raiders runs past Kenny Vaccaro #32 of the New Orleans Saints druing the second quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 11, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.   (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 11: Michael Crabtree #15 of the Oakland Raiders runs past Kenny Vaccaro #32 of the New Orleans Saints druing the second quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 11, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

As Brandin Cooks raced down the west sideline, it looked like the Saints were on their way to their first opening day win since 2013. Cooks’ catch and run on a pass from quarterback Drew Brees completed a 98 yard touchdown, longest in Saints history. The Saints had a 24-10 lead in the third quarter.

But, Oakland rallied with 22 fourth quarter points, scoring a touchdown with 47 seconds to play, and then adding the game winning two point conversion for a 35-34 win.

Quarterback Derek Carr threw a 10 yard touchdown pass to Seth Roberts. Then, Carr threw a two point pass to Michael Crabtree for the game winner.

Two plays earlier, on fourth and 5 from the 18, Saints linebacker Craig Robertson was flagged for pass interference on what appeared to be a uncatchable pass. Here’s what Robertson told WGNO Sports after the game:

The Saints lost despite 423 yards and 4 touchdown passes from Brees. Brees tied Peyton Manning for the NFL record with his 14th 400 yard passing day of his career.

Brees said the decision by Raiders coach Jack Del Rio was gutsy.

Saints receiver Willie Snead had 9 receptions for 172 yards and a touchdown. Cooks had 6 receptions for 143 yards and two scores.

The Saints, 0-1, play the Giants at the Meadowlands next Sunday.