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Raiders preseason week 1 Ballers & Busters part two

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The second part of this week's Ballers & Busters where we profile the Busters in the Raiders' 18-3 preseason win over the visiting Rams. To see the Ballers click here.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


Ray Ray Armstrong

To be honest, I thought after all the talk this offseason about how good Ray Ray looked in practice, I wouldn't see him topping the Buster list in the first preseason game. Yet here he is. The biggest play on the first drive happened because Ray Ray got ahead of himself and overran the play on a bubble screen which allowed Tavon Austin to cut inside and streak for 35 yards before he was finally pushed out of bounds at the Raiders 19 yard line. It had everyone immediately thinking "here we go again" thinking about the team's 52-0 loss to Ray Ray's former team last season.

Luckily the Raiders were able to stop the bleeding right there and only give up three points, but Ray Ray would continue to make mistakes. The next drive he had an inexplicable holding penalty that would have negated a sack and given the Rams a first down on third and four had it not been for the Rams being called for holding on a rushing Khalil Mack. The penalties offset, giving the Rams another chance to pick up first down, which luckily was stopped to force a punt.

Ray Ray stayed in the game after the first team left, which gave him an opportunity against the Rams' second team to either redeem himself or add to his mistakes. He did the latter. On the Rams' final drive of the first half, Ray Ray took a terrible angle on a run play and the back had open field to go for 16 yards. It was this lack of discipline that had Ray Ray cut from the Rams midseason last year and received a lot of criticism since the Raiders claimed him.

Mario Edwards Jr

He played the third most snaps of any defender (38) and yet was almost completely invisible. He had just one tackle on a short catch and that was it. He had no pressures and was pushed around on the line all day, including giving up the only third down conversion the Rams had in the first quarter - a 5-yard run on third and one. Not a good start to this second round rookie's career.

Trindon Holliday, Taiwan Jones

Both of these guys worked as the returners in this game. Both are also known for having ball security issues which at one time cost them their jobs. Those issues were on display in this game for both of them. Holliday muffed the first kick he fielded and luckily it happened in the end zone so he could just fall on it for a touchback. Jones took over returning kicks in the second half and after a decent 27-yard return, fumbled it. Again, luckily he was able to pull it back in and recover it, but this is preseason where the results don't mean as much as the details. Muffing the first kick you field and fumbling the first kick you return is not going to sit well with coaches who need to trust you to hold onto the ball.

Tony Bergstrom

The second team offensive line didn't come into the game until the final drive of the first half. On the first two plays in the game, Bergstrom got beat. The first time the defender just went right by him to stuff Taiwan Jones at the line. The second one he was late getting to his block, which quickly gave Jones someone to run away from on his the pitch. Had those plays been pass plays, the quarterback would have instantly been under pressure each time, most likely resulting in a sack.

George Atkinson III

I hate to dump on him. So does his quarterback because he can't seem to field a simple dump pass. That's what he did to Cody Fajardo on third and ten in the fourth quarter. Flat out drop to kill the drive which he began with by getting tackled for no gain. He finished with 6 yards on 6 carries. Yes, that's one yard per carry.

Dan Kistler

Two of GA3's failed rush attempts was thanks in part to Kistler's poor blocking. He gave up a tackle for a loss of two yards and a few plays later helped get GA3 stuffed for just a one yard gain.

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