On the San Francisco 49ers' first possession of the game against the Las Vegas Raiders, it was easy to see which team was playing their starters and which team wasn’t.
There was constantly a sea of red jerseys pushing defenders down the field and the 49ers moved the ball at will. However, there was one white jersey on an island that was either firmly planted in the ground or moving in the opposite direction, and that island was Gerald McCoy.
McCoy had an outstanding game where he was constantly playing San Francisco’s backfield, against the run or pass, and was by far the most dominant Raider on the field. Once the 49ers brought their backups in, he was seemingly unblockable.
Now #Raiders DT Gerald McCoy absolutely destroys the center. pic.twitter.com/9ap2ZZHG9l— Kevin Nolter (@KevinNolter) August 29, 2021
The veteran defensive lineman missed all of last season with a ruptured quad and yesterday was his first game in 20 months, making his performance even more special. When asked about how it felt to be back out there during the post-game press conference, he said:
“It felt excellent. Today was my first real reps...I took a few of my first practice reps this week. I’ve been getting reps here and there but today this was like throwing me in the fire and it felt great. My legs felt great, no pain in the knee and knocking the rust off felt really good. I was just back in my element...instead thing about it after a while, it was just like let’s go.”
McCoy would go on to emphasize that he needed the reps yesterday because it’s been so long since he suited up, so he needed more work to get ready for the season opener on Monday Night Football against the Ravens.
Well, if yesterday was any indication, he seems pretty ready and that's good news for the Silver and Black who have been searching for a three-technique all offseason. Ironically, it looks like the last guy they brought in at the position will be the one to get the job done.
In other Raiders’ links:
- Arden Key Instagram Posts 1, Sacks 0: the former Raider posted a picture of a Chucky doll before the game and finished with two tackles.
- Raiders drop final preseason game 34-10: that ends the perfect season and it wasn’t really close. But to Las Vegas’ credit, San Francisco played a lot of starters.
- Peterman goes the distance: the third-string quarterback played all but one offensive snap for the Raiders this preseason, which could be a first in the NFL.
- Difficult decisions at WR: offensive coordinator Greg Olson said it will be hard to figure out what the position group looks like for the 53-man roster.
- Vaccine verification: the Raiders released a tutorial video for how fans can verify that they are vaccinated to get into Allegiant Stadium this season. It’s a must-watch if you’re planning on going to a game this year.