On October 12th, 2008, the New Orleans Saints beat the Oakland Raiders like a steel drum in Trinidad during carnival.
The Raiders struck first on a 24-yard Sebastian Janikowski field goal. It would be the only time the scoreboard operator in the Superdome would have to touch the Raider point tally.
Tomorrow, the Saints come into Oakland for the third preseason game. The game might not count in the final standings, but rest assured that JaMarcus Russell hasn’t forgotten his team’s wretched performance in front of his family and friends last fall.
The third preseason game is the most important for all NFL players running with the first string. This is the game when the starting lineups will see their most field time of the preseason. Saturday is a chance for the Raiders to remind the Saints that they’re not the UFL team that came to Louisiana a year ago.
Tom Cable will no doubt use the embarrassing loss from last season to motivate his troops for the clash. For many players, this will also be their last chance to leave a lasting impression on the team as the first wave of cuts will roll through the NFL shortly after the third week of preseason football is completed.
Here is a rundown on a few of the things to watch for this Saturday.
Michael Huff will actually be starting against the Saints. Hiram Eugene is out and Huff might be getting his final chance to shake the “bust” label.
Jeff Garcia should see more action than he did in his Raider debut a week ago. Reports indicate that JaMarcus Russell will play the first half and possibly into the third quarter, leaving Garcia with the bulk of the second half to try and get a better feel for the offense.
Darrius Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy will be the starters at receiver for a second consecutive week. Javon Walker will finally get to show off that bionic knee of his as he’ll be running with the second team.
The Raiders’ defense gets a good test against a high powered New Orleans offense. The secondary will have to be sharp against Brees and company while the run defense gets a chance to right the many wrongs that occurred a week ago in San Francisco.
Michael Bush gets the start at running back this time around, thus completing the cycle of starting each of Oakland’s three talented runners. Based on performance alone in the games, Darren McFadden’s effort against Dallas has made the strongest case for getting the top spot on the depth chart.
Also of note is one Chris O’Neill who is reported to be re-joining the Raiders after having been cut some three weeks ago. O’Neill was originally signed as a tight end out of Bosie State but was converted to middle linebacker by Al Davis himself. No word on what position he’ll play but if he’s back at linebacker then that doesn’t bode well for the also newly re-signed Napoleon Harris.
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Tags: Al Davis, Oakland Raiders, Raider Nation, Fans, Popular, Featured Chris O'Neill Darren McFadden Darrius Heyward-Bey Hiram Eugene JaMarcus Russell Javon Walker Jeff Garcia Louis Murphy Michael Bush Michael Huff Napoleon Harris Sebastian Janikowski Tom Cable