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Raiders preseason week four Ballers & Busters vs Seahawks: Part two

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Those who didn't make the case they had hoped to make in the final preseason game.


Connor Cook

Connor was not cooking with gas in this one (Zing!). He was missing throws all over the place and not on the same page with his receivers several times. Cook took over as quarterback with the first play of the second quarter and finished out the game. His first pass was a scary one in which the ball was headed right for the defender and it took a great effort by KJ Brent to keep it from being a potential pick six. That series ended with a low incomplete pass and a miscommunication with Marvin Hill. Cook was thinking go route, and Hall ran a hitch. That would happen a couple more times in this game.

The next series ended with a three-and-out in part because Cook waited too long to throw the ball for Jaydon Mickens, which allowed the defender to come up and knock the ball away. Cook would throw to Mickens again on the next series, with the ball behind him and low, causing Mickens to reach back and pluck the ball off of his thigh. The next play Cook again went for Mickens, this time into double coverage and it was nearly picked off. That was his second quarter.

The Raiders started their drive at the Seahawks 42-yard line after a big kick return. Cook got things moving with a 12-yard completion to KJ Brent and a 12-yard scramble to put them in first and goal at the 10-yard-line. It ended three plays later with Cook not recognizing the cornerback blitz and having to throw the ball away to keep from being sacked.

The next drive, he got the Raiders moving again, with consecutive completions to Brent for 19 and 18 yards. But it wouldn't last, as he would have that same miscommunication with Brent as he had with Mickens earlier. And again to end the next series; this time with Johnny Holton.

Cook's first pass of the fourth quarter went on a dump to  George Atkinson III, who then fumbled it away. The Raiders would get the ball back three plays later on a fumbled snap. But on the first play, Cook threw the ball right into the  hands of Seahawks linebacker Ryan Robinson who returned it for a touchdown. That play gave the Seahawks the lead at 9-8 and they wouldn't relinquish it.

Cook finished going 15 for 30 for 145 yards and an interception for a passer rating of 50.0.

Cory James

When the middle linebacker plays 32 snaps (52%) in a game, usually you expect more than one tackle. But that's what the Raiders got from James. The first time we heard his name was when he was called for being illegally downfield on a punt that forced a redo.

The next drive, he gave up an 11-yard catch on third and 10. Then he missed what should have been a sack that resulted in a 13-yard sramble.

Late in the third quarter, he was again penalized on a special teams play; this time called for holding on a return.

Mychal Rivera

Rivera had two catches in the game for a total of 7 yards. His first catch went for five yards on third and 7 and his other catch was for two yards. So, yeah, meaningless. He was also late to get to his block to allow a run stuff at the line, missed his block altogether to give up a run stuff for a two-yard loss, and couldn't adjust to a pass thrown to his outside shoulder after he had turned inside. That catch would have been meaningful as it would have put the Raiders in scoring position.

Ryan O'Malley

Over this preseason, O'Malley has a grand total of two catches for 11 yards. Neither of those catches came in this game. So, since he's not offering anything in the passing game, he must be making it up as a blocker. Not so much. Early in the second quarter, he missed his block to allow a rusher get a run at the quarterback. Cook would be forced to step up and was subsequently sacked. O'Malley would later give up another pressure that resulted in an incompletion. I had him as a practice squad guy, but that was for lack of good TE options. I would assume the Raiders will be searching hard to find a better practice squad option among the other teams cuts.


Editor's note: Yes, the Betweeners have moved! This is where they will be listed from now on. If for no other reason than to refrain from unintentionally promoting this category as a positive accomplishment. It's neither positive nor negative, but rather those players who made a lot of noise, but didn't fit as either a Baller or a Buster.

George Atkinson III

Once again, he didn't see the field much until the final few quarter of the game. And just as he had early in the preseason, he made some big plays once he got his opportunity. Jack Del Rio described Atkinson's day accurately as "up and down".

Before GA3 could make any of his big plays, he made his mistakes. He missed his block on a return late in the first half to give up the tackle. Then early in the third quarter, he got wide open up the ride side and flat out dropped a gimme touchdown. The Raiders would end up settling for a field goal.

His first carry came early in the fourth quarter and he took it out left for a 16-yard gain. As if to prove he could run between the tackles, he took the next carry up the middle for 12 yards. Unfortunately, he couldn't keep the momentum going; catch a short pass on the next play and fumbling it away.

Atkinson had another 15-yard run later in the quarter and finished off the drive with a one-yard touchdown run. He ended his preseason and the game with an 81-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to bring it the Raiders to within two.

Korey Toomer

Toomer tied for the team lead with 6 combined tackles (3 solo). Unfortunately, many of those tackles were not close enough to the line of scrimmage to make a positive impact. Or, as in a few instances, he gave up the catch first which led to him making the tackle.

We saw the good and the bad from Toomer on the Seahawks' final drive of the first quarter. On the first play, Toomer gave up a 27-yard catch to the tight end. The drive ended with Toomer and Darius Latham teaming up to make a run stop on third and long.

At the end of the first half, he missed what should have been a sack to give up 8 yards on the scramble. He later was out of position on a screen play that went for 13 yards.

See the Ballers