After a season in which the Raiders defense was among the worst in the league, they didn’t show much to be excited about in preseason either. That made for a good deal of questions as to how they would split up duties this season. We got our first answer Sunday.
As you might expect, Khalil Mack never left the field on defense. They need him out there and as a do-it-all defender, there’s no reason for him to step out. The rest of the defensive line and linebackers are another story entirely.
The interior defensive line which was one of the worst last season, was once again in a rotation. Splitting up duties almost evenly were Mario Edwards Jr, Eddie Vanderdoes, Justin Ellis, Denico Autry, and Treyvon Hester. If you needed any further indication of how desperate this team is to find the answer inside, two of those players are rookies (Vanderdoes and Hester).
At linebacker, Cory James basically played every snap. He had to leave after being slow to get up at one point, but he missed just four defensive snaps. Those snaps were taken by undrafted rookie Nicholas Morrow.
The other inside linebacker spot was a rotation with Tyrell Adams (64%) getting most of the snaps, Marquel Lee (33%) seeing most of the rest.
As for the offense, the only offensive lineman who didn’t play every snap was Marshall Newhouse. Vadal Alexander got one series in which he gave up a sack and two pressures. I don’t think the Raiders will be doing that again.
The running back snaps were just as they were last season when Latavius Murray was the workhorse back. In this case it was Lynch getting about half the snaps with DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard pretty evenly splitting the rest.
With Jamize Olawale out, the Raiders at times put Lee Smith in the backfield as a blocker. Despite this, Clive Walford only saw 5 snaps, while Jared Cook led all tight ends by a wide margin (71%).
Here are all the Raiders snap counts in their preseason opener against the Titans: