Here’s what to watch for:
1. Silver & Blackout
If you thought the Raiders fans took the Chargers’ homefield advantage away, wait until you see what they do Saturday. Southern California, and LA in particular is a Raider Nation stronghold. And the game is being played at LA Memorial Coliseum where the Raiders once called their home for 13 years, so you know there will be a lot of Raiders fans eager to experience the nostalgia of walking into that stadium in Silver & Black to watch their team take the field again. The stands will be rocking.
2. Season opener preview?
Neither of these two head coaches are going to give too much away in terms of scheme. Not with the fact that they will be playing each other again in less than a month. That game will count. This one does not. For that reason, it could be a battle of who can reveal the least amount. What we will have is a look at what kind of talent the Rams have, particularly depth players. Be on the lookout for some under the radar guys who will be worth noting when these teams face off again to open the season.
3. Gareon our wayward son
It’s been nearly a year since Raiders fans got a look at the team’s top pick in 2017. And his time on the field was brief – a game and a half. But the fans have certainly heard a lot about him. He was lost on the first day of camp to a hip injury and returned Monday. He says he’s ready to go, but will Gruden insert him into the starting lineup? Will he play at all? We should know our answer before kickoff.
4. Key to the defense
Another player Raider Nation has been eager to see is third round rookie Arden Key. He lit up training camp with outstanding pass rush moves and bend, but just prior to the preseason opener, he suffered a sprained ankle. Raiders fans will be hoping they get a chance to see the pass rush he has displayed in training camp on the field Saturday.
5. CW3 the 2nd?
Chris Warren III was the breakout star of the first preseason game put himself on the map in the competition at running back for the Raiders, rushing for 86 yards on 13 carries. If he can keep it going, and show that first game wasn’t a fluke, either the Raiders will have to keep him or risk another team scooping him up off waivers. All eyes on Warren to see if he can have an encore performance. Punching one in the end zone would go a long way as well.