Here are five things to watch:
The Raiders were all over San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance in a 34-7 victory on Sunday in the preseason opener. Lance was sacked four times and the Raiders’ defensive end and defensive tackles got consistent pressure. That wins games. The Las Vegas defense has been strong in training camp as well. After the game, Raiders coach Josh McDaniels said the defense is “really connected.” This needs to continue.
The rookie quarterback is the latest darling of the Raider Nation after his impressive showing against the 49ers. The fourth-round draft pick from Purdue completed 15-of-18 pass attempts for 141 yards and one touchdown. Two of the incompletions were dropped. O’Connell looked the part. If he performs well in the final two preseason games, O’Connell could make a strong case to be Jimmy Garoppolo’s top backup over veteran Brian Hoyer,
The Raiders had some dropped interceptions early in the 49ers’ game. They did end up getting two turnovers. Las Vegas has been emphasizing turnovers in training camp and it has worked against Las Vegas’ offense. Getting them in preseason games will give the unit confidence it can translate to the regular season.
Offensive line shuffle:
The Raiders’ offensive line was a work in progress most of last season and it was the case in the first preseason game as well. There are battles at both guard and tackle spots and this game will have help with the coaching staff make decisions.
The late-round draft picks and undrafted free agents are battling for roster spots and this game is another big step for all of them.