3 Noteworthy Takeaways From Raiders’ First Preseason Game

The Las Vegas Raiders defeated the Seattle Seahawks 20-7 in the first 2021 preseason game. While the game will not count, of course, there is still plenty to be intrigued by. 

The defense played inspired

Despite not playing many starters, Gus Bradley’s defense looked much better than Raiders fans are used to. The unit consistently played much faster than they did in 2020 and were rewarded for their efforts to the tune of just seven points. In addition to playing faster, they played with a lot more energy.

Consistently celebrating big plays and flying to the ball is a breath of fresh air in Las Vegas. The star of the defense in this game was rookie Nate Hobbs with a sack of Geno Smith in Week 1. Postgame, Gruden said he ‘might be an opening day starter for us.’ It is also interesting to note that former first-rounders, Johnathan Abram, Clelin Ferrell, and Damon Arnette all played with the second team.

Nathan Peterman is making the team

The NFL preseason is good for many things. One of these is showing the vast amount of talent that NFL players have. Nathan Peterman is widely considered one of the worst players in NFL history, however, when facing players who will not be making NFL rosters, he looks serviceable. Going 29/39 for 246 yards and an interception, he often hooked up with Zay Jones. Linking up for several big catches, Peterman delivered the ball with confidence all game. With the all-powerful vote of confidence from Jon Gruden, the Raiders will likely keep three quarterbacks. This means they’ll likely keep Peterman around this season. Is he an NFL starter? Absolutely not. Is he worthy of a roster spot? Probably not? Will he make the Raiders? Very likely, yes.

Young running backs shine

While both Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake did not play, UDFA’s Trey Ragas and B.J. Emmons fought for a roster spot. During this fight, both looked impressive. Ragas finished with thirteen carries for 62 yards and a touchdown. As the starting running back, his touchdown wrapped up the Raiders’ impressive opening drive. For Emmons, he had nine carries for 45 yards and a touchdown of his own. His score was much in the vein of Jacobs as he leaped over the goal line to put the game out of reach. An important battle to watch, one of these two backs could easily earn a roster spot if the team opts to move on from Jalen Richard.

Next weekend, the Raiders will be taking on the Los Angeles Rams. In the second preseason game, look for some of the starters to play. However, the intrigue lies within the backup battles and the overall energy of the team. Thus far, things are looking up for the Las Vegas Raiders.

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*Top Photo: AP Photo/Isaac Brekken

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