Hello RaiderNation! Well week 1 of the preseason is in the books and the Raiders looked pretty damn good! Of course it was almost all 2nd and 3rd stringers (or 4th) but that is to be expected in the 1st game of preseason, especially since we have some starters who are just coming off injury (like JimmyG). But even so, we really took it to the Niners and gave them an ass whoopin’ they won’t be forgetting anytime soon as the Raiders had their way with the Niners, 34-7!
The defense really stood out sacking Trey Lance 4 times, and pressuring him even more. He rarely had a chance to throw unmolested, and even when he did, he didn’t have much to show for it completing only 10 of 15 (1 of which should have been a pick but Duke Shelly had it bounce off his hands and TE Ross Dwelley dove and caught it for the lone score by the Niners. For the game, our defense gave up 214 yards (20/31) with 1 pick by Sam Webb (should have been 3 but there were drops by Duke Shelly and Amari Burney), and 69 yards rushing. There was also a fumble recovery by Azizi Hearn when LB Curtis Bolton punched the ball out on a play. Overall, the defense looked very good and I was impressed with their energy and aggressiveness. But the defense wasn’t what stood out the most in this game.
The Raider offense, for the most part, looked like a well oiled machine against a Niner defense that looked lackluster at best. Aiden O’Connell did not look like a rookie in his first game, and is a reason for every Raider fan to be excited. Smooth in the pocket and deadly accurate with his passes, he wowed RaiderNation and Niner fans alike. Although he had 1 sack, he was almost perfect throwing the ball going 15/18 for 141 yards and 1 touchdown. I say almost perfect because 2 of his passes were right on the money but dropped by Tre Tucker, one of which was a beautiful deep sideline pass that Tucker pulled in, but could not hold onto when hitting the ground. So O’Connell should have been 17/18 for closer to 200 yards if it had not been for the 2 drops by Tucker. All in all the rookie QB led us to a 27-7 lead before they brought Chase Garbers in to get some reps (should have been 27-0 were it not for the dropped pick in the end zone by Duke Shelly that bounced into the TE’s hands). I mentioned Tre Tucker dropping 2 catch-able balls. The first was a short pass that he took his eyes off of to look up-field and the second the deep sideline pass that he could not hold onto when he hit the ground. While he did not have that good of a day, the one thing that really stood out was his speed. This was his first professional game, he will learn not to take his eyes off the ball. He is already drawing extra attention on his routes which will make things easier for our other receivers. Mike Mayer did not play as he was still recovering from an injury, but Cole Fotheringham stood out catching all 5 passes that were thrown to him for 71 yards. He seems to be one of O’Connell’s go to guys but the guy with the most catches including the touchdown thrown by the rookie was a guy who many think is on the roster bubble, Keelan Cole with 6 catches including the aforementioned touchdown. This guy just keeps on coming up big when needed so I am not sure how you don’t find a way to keep him on the roster, but that will be another article, this is about the game.
The running game did not look all that impressive with a total of 35 carries for 120 yards and 2 touchdowns (1 by Zamir White and the other by Sincere McCormick). McCormick also caught a swing pass for a touchdown. This should tell McDaniels and Ziegler that they need to figure a way to get Jacobs back in the fold, they are totally blowing it. Before you all jump in and say he is being greedy, all he wanted was security and they were not even willing to offer him a 2 year contract for 22.2 million guaranteed. Incidentally, that is exactly what would have been paid him if he had been franchise tagged twice. What we saw from our back-ups is they are not going to be able to shoulder the load this year. Ziegler, get it done!!
Finally let me just say a few words about our kickers. Daniel Carlson is MONEY and he hit both attempts, the longest of which was 53 yards. But AJ Cole is no slouch either. He punted 5 times in the game, 4 of which he put the Niners inside their own 20. We have the best kicking duo in football!
So, on to the Rams. There is a chance we may see some of the first stringers in the game but it is not for sure. What were your thoughts about our first preseason game? Leave us your comments and let us know. Take care RaiderNation, from Old Timer, Peace Out!!