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Raiders-Rams preseason game: Jimmy Garoppolo looks sharp

An instant review of the 2nd preseason game

Las Vegas Raiders v Los Angeles Rams
Jimmy Garoppolo
Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders played their second preseason game of the NFL season Saturday night, at the Los Angeles Rams at Allegiant Stadium as the Raiders won 34-17.

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

Records: The Raiders are 2-0. The Rams are 0-2.

What it means:

Josh McDaniels doesn’t lose in the preseason. He is 6-0 with Las Vegas in the preseason.

New Raiders’ starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo made his preseason debut in the game. It was the first time Garoppolo has played since Week 13 of last season when he suffered a serious foot injury with the San Francisco 49ers.

Some Raiders’ offensive starters, including superstar wide receiver Davante Adams played. Others, like standout left tackle Kolton Miller did not play.

Garoppolo started well and led the Raiders on a crisp touchdown drive to open the game. Jimmy G. was accurate (he was 4-for-4 passing for 39 yards) and the offensive line protected well. It was simply a great drive.

Backup quarterback Brian Hoyer took over for Garoppolo after the first drive. Hoyer was up-and-down and he threw a Pick 6 on a badly underthrown pass intended for rookie tight end Michael Mayer, who made his preseason debut, in the second quarter. It tied the game at 10-10.

Second-year Las Vegas running back Zamir White, who has been running with the first team with star tailback Josh Jacobs staying away from training camp in a contract dispute, started well. He ran well in two joint practices against the Rams during the week after a sluggish performance against the 49ers last week.

The Rams started rookie quarterback Stetson Bennett and the Raiders’ started some defensive starters, including star pass-rusher Maxx Crosby. Bennett had some success against the Raiders’ backups in the second quarter, leading the Rams to a field goal.

The Raiders took a lead into halftime with a Pick 6 of their own, by second-year safety Isaiah Pola-Mao just before halftime.

Rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell came in the third quarter and led the Raiders on a touchdown drive. He added another touchdown pass later. He plays comfortably and in control. He looked good once again and we should not be surprised if he takes over for Hoyer as Garoppolo’s backup sooner than later.

Third-round pick Tre Tucker continued to struggle with drops. He had a 43-yard touchdown pass in his chest and he couldn’t finish it. He had two drops last week. He did bounce back with a nice catch from O’Connell later.

Greg Van Roten started at guard and looks like he is on track to win the starting job for week 1 at Denver. He was replaced by Alex Bars.

DeAndre Carter, trying to win a roster spot, had a nice return that would have gone for a touchdown had he not stepped out of bounds.

Cornerbacks David Long and Tyler Hall made some plays in the second quarter. Backup pass-rusher Malcolm Koonce built on his strong training camp with a good game. Cornerback Amik Robertson dropped a second Raiders’ pick 6 in the third quarter.

Turning point:

The Raiders took control in the second quarter and kept the Rams at bay. These Raiders can get it down in the preseason. Las Vegas has outscored its opponents by a total of 68-24 in the preseason so far.

Injury report:

The Raiders didn’t report any injuries.

What’s next: The Raiders play their third and final preseason game at the Dallas Cowboys next Saturday. Kickoff is 5 p.m. PT.