Raiders 2022 preseason: Players whose stock increased vs Vikings
Phillips was one of the guys on my list of Raiders whose stock increased after the Hall of Fame game. It was true after the showdown against Jacksonville, and it’s true once again.
Darius Phillips had a phenomenal showing against Minnesota. During the very first drive of the contest, the Raiders defense forced a three and out. Phillips was involved in two of the three plays.
On first down, Phillips played airtight coverage against his man. This challenged Vikings’ quarterback Sean Mannion to throw the ball in a specific spot on the outside, but the veteran QB didn’t have the touch he was looking for. Instead, the ball sailed over everyone’s head, and Minnesota was staring at 2nd and 10.
Fast forward to third down, and Mannion completes a short pass to his receiver in space with hopes of him picking up the first. Phillips had other plans, though. The cornerback ran downfield and made a great tackle well short of the sticks to force a punt.
As the Raiders’ defense headed off the field, Phillips took exception and stayed out there. Instead, the veteran corner went to return the punt, gaining 17 yards in the process. Phillips would later get a 16-yard pickup on a second punt return.
Las Vegas agreed to terms with Phillips this offseason in the legal tampering phase of free agency, giving the cornerback a one-year deal worth up to $2.25 million. If the Raiders’ two preseason games are a sign of things to come, this may end up being a bargain for the versatile defensive back.