The final preseason Ballers & Busters is here. These players may have earned a roster spot or lost it based on their performance in this game while others may have risen or fallen in the depth chart heading into the season.
We will soon find out who made the Raiders' 53-man roster and perhaps the performances in this game will play a part in whether they are on that list or not.
From the very first snap, Sims was on a rampage. He got off the ball in an instant, shucked past the center and was on top of the quarterback as fast as the ball. The result was the entire defense came up and stuffed the screen attempt for a two-yard loss. Two plays later, he was in the backfield again, this time the two-yard loss came from him alone. Unfortunately, thanks in large part to a 50-yard pass play, the Seahawks were able to score a opening drive touchdown. Regardless, it was clear the defensive line was a very different animal with Sims in the lineup. On the following drive, the line aided in two run stuffs and a sack and Sims finished it off by again shucking past his man to put pressure on the quarterback who was flagged for intentional grounding which is as good as a sack. They settled for a 56-yard field goal. Sims got in the backfield again on the next drive to disrupt a run play and cause a run stuff. The Seahawks again settled for a field goal. Dennis Allen had seen enough and pulled Sims after that.
I did not see Watson being listed right here after this game. I thought maybe he would exceed some expectations and perhaps earn an honorable mention for his efforts filling in at left tackle on such short notice. But not only did Watson play well all things considered, he simply played well. Extremely well, in fact. Watson played about three quarters in this game and didn't give up a sack. One of the sacks was his man but it was only after Pryor had left the pocket and held the ball too long did he get sacked. On top of it, the rookie tackle blocked well in the run game. One of those blocks was the key block to open the hole Rashad Jennings ran through for his 32-yard run late in the first half. His fine game had Dennis Allen naming him the starter for the Raiders season opener.
The Raiders may have quite a pass rusher in Bass. This team's final draft pick this year plays like his hair is on fire. His first series on the field, he had a tackle for loss. He then had a run stuff on the final play of the first half to keep the Seahawks from piling on heading into the locker room. A drive in the third quarter had his fingerprints all over it. On four consecutive plays, he had a QB pressure, gave up a 9-yard catch, cut off the outside edge to force a run inside where it was stuffed for no gain, and then made a nice swim move for a sack. The sack was wiped away by a holding penalty on Kaelin Burnett but it didn't go unnoticed by the coaching staff.
It is fitting Robinson comes in just below the man against whom he has been competing this entire camp. This undrafted free agent rookie has shown up big time for the Raiders. He came in the game late in the first quarter and made his presence felt quickly. The drive featured a run stuff by Robinson and ended when, on third and goal from the 12-yard line, he got pressure in the quarterback's face, forcing him to throw short and the drive ended with a chip shot field goal. He was back at it in the third quarter hwne he ended the Seahawks' first two drives. He had a pressure to help force an incompletion to end the first one with a punt, and ended the second one with a tackle for loss, and being on the receiving end of a lineman illegal use of hands as he was desperately trying to keep him out of the backfield. Later he ended another drive with a run stuff on third and 11. The sad thing here is he may be the odd man out among this team's defensive ends. Which means despite a good looking preseason, he could still be cut. If he is, the Raiders will hope he clears waivers so they can stash him on the practice squad.
Lamarr Houston -- He didn't play a lot in this game - really just the first two defensive series. On the second drive, he had a tackle for loss and a sack to help hold the Seahawks to a long field goal.
Andre Gurode, Mike Brisiel - Both of these two were very solid along the line. Brisiel looked the best I have seen him at least all preseason. He was injured and he appears to be fully recovered now. Gurode stepped in to start at center while the coaches sat out Stefen Wisniewski. Gurode played three quarters of mistake free football and didn't blow any blocks for run stuffs or sacks.
Nick Kasa -- He had two good catches in this game. The last one was very impressive as he went up high and made a perfect catch. He looked very good and seems to have justified the team drafting him.
Rashad Jennings -- Rushed six times for 53 yards (8.8 ypc) including a 32-yarder wich is the Raiders' longest run of the preseason.