Safeties Shalom Luani and Anthony Cioffi
We've said adios to the Offseason Workout Program, see you later to Training Camp 2017, and now with tonight's 17-13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, we've officially said goodbye to the preseason as well.
The Oakland Raiders lost to the Seattle Seahawks tonight at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum to wrap up the preseason; here are four, quick observations from the finale.
1. Unsurprisingly, the big guns sat it out
Look, I don't think there were very many people out there who thought that Derek Carr, Khalil Mack, Marshawn Lynch and the rest of the first team Raiders were going to suit up, and none of them really did.
While "D.C." and the boys did go through pregame warmups, unsurprisingly, about a third of the Raiders emerged from the locker room without pads and helmets.
From Carr, to Mack, Donald Penn, Amari Cooper, and Bruce Irvin, most – if not all – of the Silver and Black's frontline players were nothing more than spectators for this evening's matchup.
While tonight's game was important in the sense that it gave players lower on the roster one, final shot to show the coaching staff what they have to offer before roster reduction day, for players like Carr, there's really no reason to see another quarter of action from them.
Besides, at this point, the focus has shifted – as it should – to the team's regular season opener, September 10 in Nashville.
2. Denico Autry had a nice evening at work
With a majority of the Raiders defensive line sitting on the sideline, Denico Autry put together a nice, preseason finale tonight against the Seahawks.
The big defensive lineman stuck up a paw and batted down a Trevone Boykin pass down at the line of scrimmage in the first quarter, while also applying a handful of good pressures throughout the evening. The 6'5", 270 pounds Autry provides a solid presence in the interior of the Raiders line, and he also has the ability to get after the quarterback from the edge.
In recent years, Autry has also been a stalwart on special teams, specializing in blocking kicks and punts, and I expect him to have much the same effect this season.
3. The secondary forced a few turnovers
After not forcing an interception in the first three weeks of the preseason, Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr.'s group forced a pair tonight against the Seahawks, both before halftime.
Rookie safety Shalom Luani got the party started in the first quarter, hauling in an overthrown pass from Seahawks quarterback Trevone Boykin.
Shortly thereafter, fellow rookie Breon Borders got in the mix, picking off Boykin after he was crushed in the midsection by linebacker Nicholas Morrow.
Norton and Head Coach Jack Del Rio like to say that turnovers come in bunches, and that was indeed the case tonight, which is something that I'm sure the Raiders staff will be pleased about heading into Week 1 of the regular season.
4. Marquette King had a busy first half
The #KickSquad President certainly had a busy night at the OACC, the first half in particular.
When all was said and done, King punted four times in the first half, for 179 total yards.
Obviously, things aren't going super swimmingly on offense if your punter is getting a ton of work, but you'd much rather have No. 7 get heavy workload tonight than next Sunday at Nissan Stadium.
Another good thing? King actually punted the ball well this evening. Of his four punts, two landed inside the 20-yard line. Having a weapon like King who can flip the field from seemingly anywhere on the field is a luxury most teams don't have, and No. 7 appeared to be in midseason form this evening against the Seahawks.