Josh McDaniels and his band of Mini-Patriots spent Thursday and Friday holding scrimmages (with limited visibility) against the San Francisco 49ers. But Sunday will be a different story. The Las Vegas Raiders will open their preseason opposite those same Niners, but this time, visibility will be as large as the cost of admission.
After a spirited showing on both sides of the ball from the Silver and Black over the last few days, fans will look to see what — if anything — translates to real game action. But where’s the fun in lowering expectations? It’s time to get bold.
Keeping The Faith
Raiders’ Passing Game Takes Backseat To Zamir White
No one expects Jimmy Garoppolo to suit up against his former team on Sunday afternoon. That leaves the new No. 4, Aidan O’Connell, alongside grizzled vet Brian Hoyer and second-year player Chase Garbers to handle all the snaps.
Luckily, the Niners won’t play many starters, either. On paper, this should lead to an easier time for those signal-callers. The game plan may call for a more ground-oriented attack, however. It’s time to feed Zeus.
Vegas needs to give Zamir White as many touches as possible to see what it has in the sophomore player. Josh Jacobs’ holdout could end sooner rather than later, but given the last few years, we can’t rule out a definitive departure.
Due to this, expect a heavy dose of rushing against San Fran. Now I know what you’re thinking. What about the “All Mighty Aidan Empire”? It begins now! These are bold predictions, after all, not forgone conclusions.
Eyes On Isaiah
Isaiah Pola-Mao Records A Sack And Interception For The Raiders On Sunday
Reports say the Raiders are very high on their young safety Isaiah Pola-Mao. Sunday is a better time than ever to show why. The 6-foot-4 USC alum is a specimen at his position. A versatile chess piece that defensive coordinator Patrick Graham is right to covet.
The Niners will be on the unfortunate end of the breakout for IPM, who will grab an interception and fly in for a sack on a blitz at some point in the contest. Those stats might even be too conservative, depending on how much playing time Pola-Mao receives.
To my credit, I merely took the numbers I put up in Madden with the gifted defender and cut them down a bit.
*Top Photo: Chris Unger/Getty Images