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Final score: Raiders 23, Patriots 6

Instant review of the final preseason game

New England Patriots v Las Vegas Raiders
Luke Masterson
Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders played their fourth and final preseason game, hosting the New England Patriots on Friday night at Allegiant Stadium.

Let’s take a look at the key aspects of the game:


The Raiders are 4-0 (it’s the first time in team history the Raiders went undefeated in preseason). The Patriots are 1-2.

What it means:

The Raiders scored points on the opening drive of the game for the fourth straight preseason game this summer. The starting lineup, filled with mostly backups, moved the ball well against most of New England’s starting defense on the opening drive.

Backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham, acquired in a trade with the Patriots this year, has been good all preseason and he hit tight end Jesper Horsted for a big play. Later, rookie Zamir White, who will be playing on Sundays this fall, added a touchdown to give the Raiders a 10-0 lead in the first quarter,

The starting offensive line played pretty well and there is a good chance Jermaine Eluemunor is the starting right tackle Week 1. Barton Jackson may be the swing offensive lineman, especially with rookie Thayer Munford dealing an injury.

Alex Leatherwood, the Raiders’ first-round pick in 2021, came in the second quarter at right tackle, illustrating how he has fallen out of favor after a rough preseason. He struggled again Friday night. There is speculation he may be on the way out of Las Vegas soon.

Defensively, the Raiders had a nice start against the Patriots’ first-team offense with third-year player Malcolm Koonce getting a sack of Mac Jones, who struggled in more than a quarter of the play.

New England’s offense has been dreadful all summer. it surely misses new Raiders’ head coach Josh McDaniels. The Patriots’ starters had just three points on three series against the Raiders’ backups.

Koonce has had some nice moments in the preseason and he should make the team as the Raiders look for good depth behind star pass-rushers Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones, who were among the many Las Vegas standouts not to hit the field in the preseason. Tashawn Bower had two sacks (with a forced fumble) and he has been great this preseason and he should make the team as well. He leads the NFL with four sacks this preseason. It’s the most preseason sacks by a Raider since Kamerion Wimbley in 2010.

Undrafted rookie linebacker Luke Masterson had another strong game as he picked off Jones in the first quarter and had a nice return. Masterson may get very good news Tuesday when the 53-man roster is set. Fellow undrafted free agents, linebacker Darien Butler and Sam Webb also played well and also have a chance to make the 53-man roster.

The Raiders had four sacks and two interceptions, one by receiver Isaiah Zuber, who was playing safety late in the game. You got to love the preseason. Zuber had a catch and a pick. What a game.

Speed receiver Tyron Johnson had a big 45-yard catch and should be safe on the 53-man roster. It was a bit odd that receiver Keelan Cole was playing late in the final preseason game. Could Johnson and DJ Turner push out Cole?

Raiders’ stud kicker Daniel Carlson hit three more field goals and was 9-for-9 in the preseason. He’s ready, folks.

Starting quarterback Derek Carr will enter his second straight regular season with zero passes thrown in the preseason. It didn’t hurt him in 2021 and shouldn’t again this season.

The Raiders continued a great trend. They had just one penalty and had just 13 flags in four preseason games, three total in the past two games. Also, the Raiders didn’t turn the ball over all preseason. It was the first time in 11 years an NFL team did not commit a turnover. That type of clean play means they are getting coached well and they are responding. If it translates to the starters in the regular season, this team will be super dangerous.

Turning point:

Like every preseason game this year, the Raiders jumped out to an early lead and was the best team on the field. It was a good summer.

Injury report:

There were no reported Las Vegas injuries, which is a victory in itself. The Raiders are fairly healthy headed into the regular season.

What’s next:

It’s about to get real. The Raiders, who must cut down to 53 players by 1 p.m. Tuesday, will play at the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on September 11 in Week 1 of the regular season. Kickoff is set for 1:25 p.m. PT. Let’s go.