The Raiders and 49ers squared off Sunday for both teams’ final preseason game. Preseason games are not always the most entertaining matches, especially the final exhibition game, which is typically a dress rehearsal for both teams. However, early last week Kyle Shanahan confirmed his plans to play every starter against the Silver and Black.
The Raiders, however, took the opposite approach and let every starter, including most backups that had already won a roster spot, take the day off.
For the Raiders, that meant they’d have third-string players going up against first-stringers, and it was evident from the first drive of the game. The Raiders started the game on offense and quickly went three and out. The 49ers went downfield on back-to-back offensive drives and scored touchdowns against the Raiders third stringers.
In the end, the Raiders lost 34-10 but Jon Gruden and the team learned a lot from this final preseason game, let’s get into some of the game notes.
Gerald McCoy was the star of the day for the Las Vegas Raiders against the 49ers. We saw the future Hall of Fame defensive tackle play in his first game in over a year. He got the start for the Silver and Black, and from the moment the game started, it was clear McCoy is a talented star.
Multiple times against the 49ers starting offensive line throughout the first two drives, McCoy beat the Niners guards and center with a variety of different techniques. On one play, it was him swimming over the center. The next was his impressive get-off. McCoy had himself a game against the 49ers and will likely be the Raiders starter against the Ravens.
Damon Arnette has locked himself in as the Raiders third outside corner with now full-time outside corner Amik Robertson not too far behind. Arnette was tested twice against the 49ers first-string players, and he knocked both passes incomplete. He didn’t play much today, but it’s clear Arnette is a much different player this year. He finished the game with two tackles and two pass breakups.
Trey Ragas finished the game with 9 carries for 39 yards on the ground and 3 catches for 15 yards through the air. He also broke 4 tackles against the 49ers. BJ Emmons, who was Ragas’ primary competition for the third running back spot had 7 carries for 11 yards. It’s safe to say the more explosive Ragas will end up being the third running back on this roster.
Amik Robertson has had a really solid preseason for the Raiders after moving from the nickel position to the outside corner spot. Against the 49ers starters, Robertson didn’t allow any catches and had a really nice rep in coverage as he played over the top of one 49ers wide receiver:
Robertson has locked himself in as the Raiders’ fourth outside corner after a really impressive few games in the preseason.
Jimmy Morrissey started the full game for the Raiders. His main competition for the backup center spot, Nick Martin, got the day off. Morrissey stepped up and did really well. Although he isn’t locked in to make the roster, there is a good chance he will be with this team in one way or another, whether that be via practice squad or the Raiders potentially carrying three centers this year.
After an injury to the Raiders Will linebacker Javin White against the Los Angeles Rams, the Raiders weren’t sure how to move forward. But after seeing rookie linebacker Deablo, the Raiders are in a good spot moving forward. Deablo had 9 total tackles for the Raiders. Multiple times he was in good position to force the quarterback to not throw it into his zone.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Raiders choose to cut down their roster to 53 players. They have some issues on the offensive line, so instead of carrying a fourth offensive tackle, they could choose to carry an extra center and use Denzel Good as a fourth tackle, if needed. Either way, the NFL deadline to get down to 53 players is 4 PM EST on Tuesday.
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