The Oakland Raiders might have lost their second preseason game, but these five players definitely helped themselves with great games on Saturday night.
Again, it wasn’t the result that the Oakland Raiders wanted, but there were certainly some positive takeaways from their most recent preseason loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday night. Oakland held a late lead after a great drive by backup quarterback Connor Cook. However, the defense would let the Raiders down, as Oakland lost 24-12 to the Rams at home.
Offensively, this team looks to be a well-oiled machine. It doesn’t matter who is playing left tackle, who is starting at running back or who is calling plays, it doesn’t look like this team has skipped a beat on that side of the ball. That being said, this is anything but a championship caliber defense Jack Del Rio has in Oakland. It’s not getting better sadly.
What made this a better overall night for the Silver and Black was the ability to run the football and convert on third down. It helped having the interior starting trio of Kelechi Osemele, Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson left to right. Having guys like Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree helped in the passing game considerably.
While we all know that those stars will make this roster, here are a few of lesser known players that had a great night for the Silver and Black. Here are five Raiders who helped themselves the most against the Rams in preseason Week 2.
Seventh-round rookie running back out of North Carolina in Elijah Hood did not have the training camp of his tailback teammates. He was dealing with an injury and all that comes with being a rookie. While Marshawn Lynch, Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington got more love in Napa, Hood made the most of his snaps against the Rams on Saturday.
Lynch might have had the two most notable carries in the game, given who he is as a star player. Hood did come on the gridiron in the second half and played with passion. While he only had five carries for 12 yards, he did have a long of nine yards. Hood even was able to contribute on special teams.
Not to say that he’s closing the gap on Richard and Washington, but both of those backs haven’t been good at the same time. Richard had the best day of the trio, but it was Washington who played slightly better over Richard in Week 1 of the preseason against the Arizona Cardinals.
It could have been easy for a seventh-round rookie that didn’t play in the preseason opener to feel discouraged with how his NFL dream was turning out. Hood was a star in North Carolina for the Tar Heels. If he realizes that his role professionally will be different than what he did for years in Chapel Hill, he might stick around on the Raiders practice squad until he’s ready for the show.