The Las Vegas Raiders played their first preseason game of the NFL season Sunday, hosting the San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium as Las Vegas won 34-7. According to The Associated Press, it was their most lopsided preseason win in 21 years.
Let’s take a look at the key aspects of the game:
Records: The Raiders are 1-0. The 49ers are 0-1.
What it means:
Raiders’ Rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell started as starter Jimmy Garoppolo and many other key players didn’t play. They, of course, got their work in Thursday and Friday in joint practices with the 49ers.
Some #Raiders who won't play:— Tashan Reed (@tashanreed) August 13, 2023
- QB Jimmy Garoppolo
- FB Jakob Johnson
- WR DeAndre Carter
- WR Jakobi Meyers
- OT Kolton Miller
- DE Maxx Crosby
- DT Jerry Tillery
- DT Bilal Nichols
- LB Divine Deablo
- CB Nate Hobbs
- S Marcus Epps
- S Tre'von Moehrig
Other #Raiders not playing:— Tashan Reed (@tashanreed) August 13, 2023
- RB Brandon Bolden
- WR Phillip Dorsett
- C Andre James
- LB Robert Spillane
- CB Marcus Peters
According to The Athletic, here are the injured Raiders players who didn’t dress Sunday:
#Raiders who I don't see dressed out on the field pregame:— Tashan Reed (@tashanreed) August 13, 2023
- RB Brittain Brown
- WR Hunter Renfrow
- WR Davante Adams
- WR Chris Lacy
- TE Michael Mayer
- TE Jesper Horsted
- OT Brandon Parker
- DE Chandler Jones
- CB David Long Jr.
- CB Brandon Facyson
#Raiders WR Davante Adams walking out with a sleeve on his right leg. He got banged up during joint practices on Friday but seems to be moving without an issue. #RaiderNation pic.twitter.com/oHyBMExDR9— Cassie Soto (@_CassieSoto) August 13, 2023
The Raiders’ defense, which has been the talk of training camp, started well, forcing probable third-string San Francisco quarterback Trey Lance and the offense to a three-and-out on the first two drives. John Jenkins and Jordan Willis had sacks on the first drive. The Raiders had another sack on the third drive. After the game, Raiders coach Josh McDaniels said the defense is “really connected.”
Offensively, the Raiders also started hot as O’Connell, fellow rookie, receiver Tre Tucker and second-year Zamir White (who is starting at tailback with Josh Jacobs staying away from training camp in a contract dispute) all performed well as White ended the long drive with a short touchdown run, He had 28 yards on seven carries on the drive, He ended the game with 43 yards on 13 carries.
O’Connell, from Purdue, finished 15-of-18 for 141 yards. He looked sharp and poised. Near the end of the second half, a calm O’Connell hit veteran Keelan Cole for a go-ahead score,
Tucker, a third-round pick from Cincinnati, had two drops on the day.
The Raiders had been making a lot of interceptions in training camp and in the two work days with the 49ers. However, in the second quarter, cornerback Duke Shelley couldn’t come down with an interception and it deflected into the hands of a San Francisco receiver for a game-tying touchdown.
The Raiders did get two turnovers later in the game as they ran away from San Francisco.
Overall, it was a solid day for the Raiders, who are now 5-0 in the preseason under McDaniels. Of course, the Raiders were 6-11 in the regular season under McDaniels last season. So, he needs work in that area. The Raiders’ five game preseason winning streak is tied for the second longest current preseason winning streak.
The Raiders did nice things on both sides of the play as it was a quality day as we sit four weeks before the regular season starts at the Denver Broncos.
And, like in the past two years, the visiting team’s fans made their presence felt at Allegiant Stadium. Yes, even in the preseason. Brace for another season of this as many teams that travel well, including the Steelers, Packers and Vikings visit Las Vegas,
Las Vegas, which appeared to game plan more than the 49ers (which is their right), controlled this game throughout,
Starting guard Dylan Parham was shaken up in the first half.
What’s next: The Raiders play their second of three preseason games at the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday. Kickoff is 6 p.m. PT.