NEW ORLEANS — The Raiders couldn't get started Friday night, and the result was a 28-20 preseason loss to the New Orleans Saints before 72,112 fans at the Superdome.
With the Saints having their way at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and Drew Brees slicing up the secondary, the Saints led 23-0 before Matt Flynn led a late touchdown drive on a two-minute drill before the half.
In the third quarter, David Bass forced a fumble by Saints backup quarterback Seneca Wallace and the Raiders' Ryan Robinson recovered for a touchdown. An Omar Gaither interception of a deflected pass set up a 46-yard field goal by Eddy Carmona to get the Raiders within 23-17.
Sebastian Janikowski's 50-yard field goal cut it to 23-20 in the fourth quarter.
New Orleans' Will Herring stuffed Jamize Olawale in the end zone for a safety not long after the Raiders had stuffed the Saints on a fourth-and-1 play inside the 5-yard line. New Orleans finished the scoring with Garrett Hartley's fourth field goal of the game, this one from 28 yards.
The Raiders, 1-1 in the preseason, headed home realizing they found out a lot more good things about players they hoped to make the team than they did about the ones that will be their starters.
When the Saints (2-0) and Raiders were playing their first teams, it was a mismatch from the outset.
Brees had his way with the Raiders as he has in four previous preseason and regular-season games. He completed 14 of 18 passes for 202 yards and a 16-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Stills on a play in which he had several seconds to throw.
Every New Orleans possession produced points until Wallace came in for a kneel-down to end the first half. Hartley had field goals of 53, 31 and 30 yards, and Mark Ingram had a 2-yard touchdown run.
The Saints were up 23-0 before they dialed back the pressure tactics, which helped Flynn direct an 82-yard, 11-play touchdown drive that ended in an 18-yard touchdown pass to Denarius Moore.
Before that drive, the Raiders had only a single first down in the half, with the Saints registering five sacks of Flynn.
"Some of it was different looks, some of it was guys getting beat and some of it was we have to recognize the pressure, find the hot receivers and get the ball out," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said, noting that Flynn twice did not see receivers open for potentially big plays. "I can't point to one individual aspect and say that was the issue."
Flynn ended his half completing 12 of 16 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown, most of that compiled on the last drive.
"The difference between moving the ball and not moving the ball is just so small," Flynn said. "There are just some things we have to clean up. We know we can do a lot better."
Veteran Alex Barron, getting first crack at the left tackle job which will be open for the foreseeable future with Jared Veldheer out following triceps surgery, struggled trying to block former Cal star Cameron Jordan.
The second-team defense got the Raiders back in the game by forcing two turnovers, but backup quarterback Terrelle Pryor struggled during his one quarter of play. Pryor was 1 of 5 for 9 yards and ran four times for 15 yards.