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2020 Long Island EFL Week#3 Las Vegas Raiders (1-1) vs. New England Patriots (0-2)

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August 24, 2020. Foxboro, MA. No team is safe in the Long Island Electric Football League.

The Las Vegas Raiders (1-1) will have to go through a settling phase with their new move to Vegas and with all the changes going on in this country the real question becomes, is the city of Vegas hungry for football? Kevin “Mac” Maloney has his Raiders on the move after coming off of a big win in their home opener against the New Orleans Saints (1-1). Raider star player and LIEFL 2008 Super Bowl XI MVP, Dave Casper is back! He may have had just one carry put his slicing run straight through the core of the Saints special teams unit was enough for the win.

The Raiders are on the road in New England against Coach Levi Vick’s Patriots.  The rookie coach (0-9) has yet to win a game this season just like his Patriots (0-2). Vick said, “I am coming over from a different five-man league who I really thought was as competitive as this league, but boy, these guys are really good.  I think I am a good coach, but at 0-9, I have been getting my butt-kicked! When you lose like I have, you start to question yourself. I am learning the system here and I think my best bet out of the teams I coach, is these Patriots to make a playoff run.  I am counting on Gronkowski to have a big game today and I switched Matt Light’s really tough bottom to John Hannah’s bottom, so we will see if the change on the front-line helps me.”


The game opened up with an explosive kick return by Rob "Gronk" Gronkowski for 65 yards to the Raider 35-yard line. Gene Upshaw stopped New England running back, Laurence Maroney on the first run, but on the second run, Maroney ran 25-yards around the right side of the field for the first down to the Las Vegas 10-yard line making it first and goal to goal for the Patriots offense. One play later Maroney ran in a Patriot touchdown, 7-0 New England! This offense improved in the middle of last weeks game as Coach Vick made those line adjustments and like magic, the Patriots came to play a game!

The Raiders fired the cannon right back with a 99-yard kick return buy Superstar Dave Casper who's back in action after a 66-yard game to open the season. Casper rebounded last week with a hundred yard kick return against New Orleans, and this week he's right back to where he needs to be, which allowed Bo Jackson to walk in from 1-yard away to tie the game 7-7 with 7:12 left to go in the half as Raider Nation comes alive in New England!
New England's Coach Vick wasn't having it. His team rose to the competition's level as the Gronk on the ensuing kick return took another stunning run back 60-yards to set the Patriots up at the Raider 40 yard line. Two plays later, Maroney ran a 27-yard first down down to the Las Vegas 13-Yard line with 2:30 left to go in the half. One play later Maroney ran it in for his second touchdown of the game to make the score 14-7 Patriots, with 1:09 left to go and a half!
On the kickoff return Casper decided to run it out of bounds at the 35 where the Raiders put together a second-half game plan.
In the start of the second half, in an explosive run, Bo Jackson broke out for a 65-yard touchdown run into the end-zone, silencing the New England crowd, from their own 35-yard line with an electrifying run tying the score at 14-14, with 14:42 left in the game!
After a 35-yard kick return, another one by the busy Gronkowski, the Patriots were looking downfield 65 yards from the goal line. On first down Maroney ran around right side for a beautiful 10-yard pickup.  The Raiders defense then stopped him for two straight plays after a huge tackle by Gene Upshaw, giving the lineman his third tackle on the day. With 9:20 left to go in the game, out of nowhere on third-down quarterback Tom Brady threw a rocket to Randy Moss for a 56-yard touchdown play to give the Patriots the lead 21-14, with 7:09 left to go in the game!
Raider return-man Dave Casper took the kick return for 43 yards and it was all Bo Jackson from there with a 2-yard run, a 31-yard run, and finally a 24 yard touchdown run to give him his third rushing touchdown of the game. The run put Jackson over a hundred yards rushing for the day as the Raiders tied the score 21-21, with 2:04 left to go in the game with the clock running! This is another nail-biter game!
On the New England kickback, Gronkowski bullied his way for a 58-yard kick return. The Patriots ran out of time in regulation, putting this game into overtime with the Patriots winning the overtime coin toss! 
What a dramatic incredible game as these two coaches face-off in OT with a little anxiety full well knowing that one loss can send the season spiraling out-of-control in the seven-game season format. It's rough! There is a lot to consider in the moment of stress for each coach. The Patriots ran the Raider defense down in OT, but by the end of the game, it was Rob Gronkowski again, who destroyed the Raiders with 273 yards on special-teams and his last run was 55 yards as the Patriots ran one more time using Maroney, who finished the day with a solid 85 rushing yards with two touchdowns.
On the next play Brady hit Randy Moss for his second touchdown of the game for a 51-yard touchdown strike to win the game 27-21 in 4:44 of overtime in an incredible game to give Coach Vick a dramatic first win of the season after having lost nine straight games to start the 2020 LIEFL season. Vick's Patriots rose to the occasion and refocusing with a tremendous game-plan! New England is a tough road ahead at (1-2). Next week Vick's Patriots play Kansas City, then Arizona.  They have to find a way to stop Tyreek Hill of the Chiefs (1-1). 
Coach Maloney's Raiders (1-2) have one of the toughest schedules in the LIEFL with Buffalo, Atlanta, the Los Angeles Chargers, and Denver remaining. Possibly all playoff bound teams.  


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