Raiders head coach McDaniels praises atmosphere at Allegiant Stadium
New Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels gushed over the atmosphere during his first game at Allegiant Stadium, where his side defeated the Minnesota Vikings 26-20 on Sunday.
With the established stars all sitting out, Raiders backup quarterbacks Nick Mullens and Jarrett Stidham both performed well, with Mullens going seven-for-nine for 94 yards and a touchdown, while Stidham completed 10-of-15 passes for 68 yards, also adding 16 yards and a rushing touchdown with his legs.
In a game that featured veteran receivers Demarcus Robinson, Keelan Cole and Mack Hollins, it was rookie D.J. Turner who stood out for the Raiders, with 58 yards and a touchdown while catching three of his four targets.
Over 61,000 packed into Allegiant Stadium for their first taste of competitive football this season, and McDaniels said he had never seen anything like it for what is essentially a meaningless game.
"This was a special day," he said. "I've been around a lot of preseason games over 22 years, and I don't remember one feeling like this.
"The reception from our fans – getting to know Raider nation the way that you see them now – it's just different.
"I've competed against them a handful of times in my time in the NFL, but to now be on the same side, you understand why it is what it is.
"I'm lucky and blessed to be the head coach here. That is the best atmosphere in a preseason game that I've ever been a part of, and that's easy to say that, clearly.
"I can't wait to play another time in here, and then get to the regular season and have the opportunity to do it for real in regular games, but what a great, passionate fanbase we have. To have the girls here, and my son on the sideline, it's a special day."