The Oakland Raiders fell to 1-3 in the preseason, losing the finale 23-21 to the Seattle Seahawks.
There were winners and losers in terms of individual performance, but beyond that, there is still plenty of information to digest.
Here are some miscellaneous notes and observations from week three of the preseason:
- Marquette King is ready for the regular season. Eight punts with an average of close to 50 yards, with five of them landing inside the 20 — and several of those were closer to the 10-yard line.
- Denico Autry had been quiet this preseason, but that changed against Seattle. Autry was dominant, recording an incredible five tackles for loss, one sack, one pass deflection, a QB hit, as well as an additional tackle.
- Jalen Richard was first out to return kicks, and DeAndre Washington was first out to return punts. They should be the respective starters.
- James Cowser seems to be back in the team’s good graces. A rough game two led to almost no action in game three, but Cowser made several plays in the finale. Many think he’ll be on the roster, but it’ll be close. I think he makes it.
- Austin Howard limping off the field should seal the deal for Menelik Watson to be the starter. He was the favorite already, but this should do it.
- Speaking of Howard, his injury seems minor, but will this ensure Matt McCants makes the roster? I have him as a cut in my projection, but we’ll see how the team handles it.
- Darius Latham ended his strong preseason with another impressive performance. Five tackles, one for a loss, a pass deflection, and consistent disruption. Stacy McGee’s job might even be in jeopardy thanks to how good Latham has been.
- Taiwan Jones didn’t see the field. Does this mean he’s comfortable on the roster and sat with the many other players who didn’t play? Or is it a Leon Orr Preseason Week 3 situation, and he’s gone? My vote is the latter — his time in Oakland is over.
- Jihad Ward and Shilique Calhoun both did a lot of positive things. Ward is nearly impossible to move off his spot, and Calhoun looked like he’s starting to a feel for rushing the passer at this level.
- George Atkinson III led the Preseason in touchdowns, scoring twice against Seattle. Once on a run, and a second on a punt return towards the end of the game. He’s been very good, but is there room for him?
- It was great to see the pass rush come alive. Two sacks, four QB hits and multiple pressures that were close to sacks. A lot of this was just rushing the front-four only.
- Connor Cook is a work in progress. He did a few nice things, but there were more errant throws and miscommunications than overall positive play. He isn’t ready to be the backup QB yet.
- Kenneth Durden nearly had two interceptions, and he also had a really nice pass deflection as well as a tackle at the line of scrimmage. Antonio Hamilton will likely be the Practice Squad CB, but Durden’s strong showing puts him in the conversation.
- Washington is a YAC machine, and has a very good case to the the team’s third-down back. He made several plays after the catch in this game.
- Korey Toomer led the team in tackles for the second time this preseason — he had seven. He’s a proven special teams stud, but he’s come a long way defensively as well. He’s going to beat out Daren Bates for a roster spot.
- K.J. Brent with another impressive performance, with four catches for 59 yards. He has to be considered the WR favorite for the Practice Squad. He’s also a possible Andre Holmes replacement after the season, considering their similar stature.
- Karl Joseph was on special teams coverage late in the third quarter, a sign that the team clearly still thinks he needs work. Risky for a first-round rookie starter that is coming off knee surgery.
- Penalties are still a problem. Eight for 64 yards is still too many, but at least the team didn’t reach double-digits — first time they can say that this preseason.