We break down the Raiders’ preseason finale
The Las Vegas Raiders completed the three-game preseason slate Sunday afternoon in Santa Clara in the first preseason game between the Raiders and the 49ers in 10 years.
Let’s take a look at the key aspects of the game:
Record: The Raiders went 2-1 in the preseason. The 49ers went 2-1 in the preseason.
What it means: The Raiders just wanted to get through this. No starters on either side of the ball played for the Raiders. In fact, about 30 Raiders’ players didn’t even make the trip to California. Nathan Peterman went the whole way at quarterback. He played all but one snap in the preseason. Raiders coach Jon Gruden kept the vast majority of the starters off the field for the entire preseason. Health is a paramount this time of year and I agree with Gruden’s approach this month. The 49ers did play many starters early.
Interestingly, veteran wide receiver John Brown played for the Raiders. 49ers’ broadcaster Greg Papa, who used be the Raiders’ broadcaster, said Brown, a free-agent addition is on the roster bubble for Las Vegas. It would be a big shock if he is cut and I got the sense from inside the Raiders’ organization Sunday that they may be leaning toward keeping Brown at the moment. He was signed to be a big contributor. But it is a sign that the Raiders’ receiver room is deep. Undrafted rookie wide receiver Dillon Stoner had a nice game Sunday, so if Brown doesn’t make it, perhaps Stoner will.
Veteran defensive tackle Gerald McCoy played in the preseason for the first time for the Raiders. McCoy was excellent Sunday.
Now #Raiders DT Gerald McCoy absolutely destroys the center. pic.twitter.com/9ap2ZZHG9l
— Kevin Nolter (@KevinNolter) August 29, 2021
Gruden said Friday he was excited to see McCoy play. He should be a factor in the season. Rookie linebacker Divine Deablo is finally healthy and he made his preseason debut as well. Deablo and fellow third-round pick Malcolm Koonce struggled at times Sunday. Veteran safety Karl Joseph, which continued speculation he could be on the roster bubble. Fellow backup safety Dallin Leavitt did not play, which may mean he is safe. Second-year cornerback Damon Arnette had a decent day. Fellow second-year cornerback Amik Robertson also played well and he will likely be a backup at outside cornerback. It will be interesting to see how much he plays in the regular season.
Cornerback Isaiah Johnson, a fourth-round draft pick in 2019, struggled and was called for two pass interference penalties Sunday. His chances of making the roster was not great going into the game. He may be in trouble. Fellow veteran cornerback Nevin Lawson could be in trouble as well. Many of the Raiders who played are on the bubble and it showed at times.
Undrafted rookie running back Trey Ragas was good again and he could make the roster. Fellow undrafted rookie running back B.J. Emmons had a fumble, which could hurt his cause. In the end, don’t worry too much about this game at all. It’s about getting the starters ready and healthy for the regular season.
Injury report: Koonce was banged up early, but seemed to be OK. Otherwise, there were no reported serious injuries.
What’s next: It’s getting real, folks. The Raiders must be down to the 53-man roster by 1 p.m. PT Tuesday and the regular season starts September 13 at home against the banged-up Baltimore Ravens on “Monday Night Football.”
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