Raiders.com Senior Editor Jerry Knaak posed five questions heading into the preseason finale and tracked the results. Here are the answers.
1. How Much will the Starters Play?
Twenty-seven players didn't see any action against the Seahawks. Cornerback DJ Hayden is the only projected starter who played. Several second-string players who are expected to have prominent roles also played quite a bit – defensive end Mario Edwards Jr, cornerback Keith McGill, defensive end Denico Autry et al.
2. Who Will Win a Job?
With final cuts set for Saturday, this was the final audition for a spot on the team. The guys who stepped up included wide receiver Seth Roberts who put on a show against the Seahawks with 7 catches for 110 yards and a touchdown, wide receiver Brice Butler had another solid outing with 4 catches for 62 yards, and both Tevin McDonald and Dexter McDonald acquitted themselves with near interceptions. Tight end Brian Leonhardt caught 3 passes for 29 yards, and rookie linebacker Neiron Ball recorded a sack for an 11-yard loss.
3. Is Austin Howard the New Starting Right Tackle?
It sure looks like it as Howard did not play Thursday night against the Seahawks. A couple of players saw action at right tackle and none of them appeared to have wrestled the job away. Khalif Barnes and Dan Kistler took quite a few reps at right tackle. As a whole, the offensive line struggled against the Seahawks.
- Can the Raiders win in Seattle?**
The Raiders have not won a game of any variety, preseason or regular season in Seattle since 1998, and that trend continued Thursday night with a 31-21 loss. Seattle's first team offense started the game.
5. Will the Running Game Rebound? Seattle dominated the line of scrimmage and the Raiders did not find much running room. Murray and Taiwan Jones didn't see any snaps as running back Michael Dyer carried the ball 12 times for 17 yards and a touchdown, and Roy Helu Jr., and George Atkinson III combine for 10 carries. I'm very excited to see running back Latavius Murray run behind the starting offensive line and get the running game cranked up as the regular season gets underway.