Preseason is preseason, but a 34-7 win against what many believe is the best team in the NFC is an impressive achievement at any point of the calendar. The Raiders gave rookie QB Aidan O’Connell the start as Jimmy Garoppolo suited up but didn’t play, and the Purdue product had a great game to the tune of 15/18 passing for 141 yards and a touchdown.
“I thought he generally handled himself well for the first opportunity,” head coach Josh McDaniels said after the game. “He’s a sponge. He soaks it all in, and he’ll take every opportunity to improve.”
Raiders RB Zamir White, who looks like he will lead the backfield as long as Josh Jacobs continues to be unsigned, also looked good with a big workload, tallying 13 carries for 43 yards and a touchdown. White wasn’t targeted in the passing game, but that doesn’t mean that he won’t be used in that role when it comes time for Jimmy Garoppolo to take over under center in the regular season.
The Raiders defense, which was reportedly impressing all week in joint practices against the 49ers, sacked QB Trey Lance four times in the first half and then shut out QB Sam Darnold in the second half. It was an all around dominant performance for the Silver and Black defense, which didn’t start almost any key players, but a dominant performance is a dominant performance nonetheless.
The Raiders will play their second and third preseason games on the road against the Rams and Cowboys, and then won’t return home until Week 3 of the regular season for their home opener on Sep. 24.
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