Fans were allowed inside Allegiant Stadium for the first time on Saturday night, and the Las Vegas Raiders sent them home happy with a 20-7 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Neither team played its starters, leading to relatively conservative play-calling from both sides.
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Rough Start For New Seahawks OC — After working for the Rams the last four years, the Seahawks hired Shane Waldron to be the new offensive coordinator this season, but he didn’t have the best play-calling debut. Forty-three of the team’s 126 passing yards came on one play, mostly due to a defensive miscommunication from the Raiders on fourth down. Alex McGough relieved Geno Smith at quarterback and led the team in rushing with 25 yards despite four separate running backs receiving carries. Waldron wasn’t planning on showing his cards in the preseason opener, especially with the second-string offense, but the offense didn’t play with a lot of life.
Zay Jones Flashed Early — Jones helped the Raiders get off to a hot start, catching three passes for 57 yards in the opening drive with a 15.3-yard average depth of target. With the New England Patriots signing Nelson Agholor this offseason, there’s a hole to fill at the wide receiver position behind Henry Ruggs III, and Jones could help fill that void.
Alex Leatherwood Looks Promising But Still Has Room For Improvement — Leatherwood was one of the more questionable picks in this year’s draft, as the Alabama product was expected to be drafted in the second round but went 17th overall to the Raiders. Leatherwood played 23 of the team’s 51 first-half snaps, earning a 60.5 PFF offensive grade. His pass protection still needs to improve, as he was beaten a few times off the edge and only earned a 52.5 PFF pass-blocking grade, but this was never his strength coming out of Alabama. Luckily, he still has time to develop that part of his game before the regular season.
Rasheem Green Makes The Most Of The Opportunity — The Seahawks released Aldon Smith earlier this week, which paved the way for Green to potentially move up the depth chart. Green played 17 pass-rushing snaps, generating five quarterback pressures and a sack. The Seahawks failed to generate a consistent pass rush last season so seeing Green create some pressure Saturday night was a welcome sight.
Trey Ragas Shows Dual-Threat Ability —Ragas made the most of his start at running back, finishing with 62 rushing yards and scoring a touchdown from one yard out. He also caught three passes for 20 yards. Ragas adds to an already deep Raiders running back room that features Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake.
Nathan Peterman played adequately — Peterman played nearly the entire game and picked the Seahawks secondary apart, completing 29 passes to 11 different receivers for 246 yards. Peterman also logged 32 yards on the ground. He was far from perfect, as he was sacked four times and threw an interception. But overall, the former Buffalo Bills quarterback looked poised, threw the ball accurately and scrambled well when the pocket collapsed.