The Raiders are now 0-2 in the preseason after the Rams stole a 24-21 victory with a fourth-quarter touchdown. But the results don’t matter in preseason, so here is what does.
Oakland loves Marshawn
Marshawn Lynch may not be making many allies by sitting during the national anthem, but the running back’s return to Oakland was met with applause.
— CJ LaBoy (@CJLaBoy) August 20, 2017
Lynch did not play in the Raiders preseason opener last week, so that was his first carry in the silver and black. He only played one series and had two carries for 10 yards before getting the rest of the night off.
The former Cal running back is from Oakland and came out of retirement because he wanted to play for his hometown team.
Khalil Mack maybe the defense's only hope
The biggest concern for the Raiders is the defense, and last night’s performance won’t make anyone feel better.
Rams quarterback Jared Goff was 16 of 20 for 160 yards, as he led the Rams on three scoring drives and a 17-14 halftime lead.
The Raiders used their starters on defense for nearly the entire first half, and the only time they showed much resistance was when Khalil Mack pressured the quarterback.
Khalil Mack swallows Jared Goff whole, oh my goodness pic.twitter.com/4UMDjspEoK
— Ben Baldwin (@guga31bb) August 20, 2017
Mack broke through a double team to level Goff. He also forced an incomplete pass that helped lead to a Rams punt. But other than those two plays, the Raiders defense was lost. That was most obvious on the Rams first touchdown. Where a play action pass fooled half of the defense and left a receiver all alone in the endzone.
Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree are studs
Derek Carr had a huge year in 2016 throwing for 28 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He was rewarded with the richest deal in NFL history this offseason. But it is clear, Carr has weapons that make him look even better.
First it was Amari Cooper hauling in a 31-yard pass in between three defenders.
Amari's deep completion pic.twitter.com/iHt5JiDVBC
— GipsySafety (@GipsySafety) August 20, 2017
Then it was Michael Crabtree turning in a 13-yard touchdown by breaking ankles with this cut to the outside after making a catch.
— CJ LaBoy (@CJLaBoy) August 20, 2017
The Raiders offense is good. Carr doesn’t even have to be a superstar to put points on the board. Carr finished 7 of 9 for 100 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
The Raiders play on a baseball field in Oakland
This is isn’t new information. But with the Raiders scheduled to move to Las Vegas in 2020 and play in stadium projected to cost $1.8 billion, it is just a reminder of the Raiders playing conditions in Oakland.
There's no place like home! pic.twitter.com/rLJFw61Qy4
— Todd Downing (@CoachTD) August 19, 2017
Shalom Luani wasn't protesting the anthem
It appeared as though Marshawn Lynch wasn't the only player protesting the national anthem, as rookie Shalom Luani was kneeling during the anthem. But apparently, Luani was just praying.
Apparently Shalom Luani was kneeling for anthem because he didn't get his prayer in. Surprised at the reaction
— Jerry McDonald (@Jerrymcd) August 20, 2017
Luani had an impressive performance on the field, as he had three tackles and big block on a punt return. The seventh-round pick may have guaranteed himself a spot on the Raiders opening day roster.
Raiders avoid comment on Sean Smith's arrest
Following Staurday's game was the first time the Raiders were available to the media since Sean Smith was arrested for allegedly beating his sister's boyfriend.
Smith declined to comment on the situation, and his coach Jack Del Rio didn't provide much information either.
“I think we’ll let him battle legally what issues he has. I don’t have anything to add to it. I think you heard his story. He was defending his sister. Obviously things occurred that were taken issue with and so he’s having to defend himself right now,” Del Rio said.
Smith played and recorded two tackles in the game.