Tight End Mychal Rivera and Wide Receiver Johnny Holton
The Oakland Raiders were back on the field Saturday night, hosting the Tennessee Titans at the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum.
Although the Silver and Black lost their first home preseason game of the year to the Titans 27-14, the final score shouldn't be the major takeaway from Saturday's clash.
Quarterback Derek Carr delivered his best performance of the preseason, and after missing the first two games of the preseason, undrafted free agent running back Jalen Richard also made his NFL debut.
After Saturday's loss, Head Coach Jack Del Rio's squad won't have much time to dwell on the matchup with the Titans, as they welcome the Seattle Seahawks Thursday night to wrap up the preseason. However, before we fully shift into looking at the Seahawks, let's take a look at the playtime percentages from the game against Tennessee, and see what we can learn from looking at the numbers.
Derek Carr Gets Rolling– The Raiders starting quarterback played 36 snaps (51%) against the Titans, exiting the game on the first drive of the third quarter.
When all was said and done, Carr completed 12 of 18 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns, including an impressive 29-yard strike to wide receiver Amari Cooper.
Saturday's outing was the far and away Carr's best of the preseason, and considering he likely won't play much, if at all, Thursday night, it was nice for him to end the preseason on a high note.
The Rookie Running Backs Carry Their Weight– Running back Latavius Murray was primarily a spectator Saturday night, ceding a majority of the rushing responsibilities to a pair of rookies that the team wanted to get a closer look at.
In his first game as a Raider, undrafted running back Jalen Richard played 19 snaps (27%), while DeAndré Washington played 18 snaps (25%) in the loss to the Titans.
Both running backs delivered quality performances, with Richard carrying the ball five times for 35 yards, and Washington rushing the ball eight times for 55 yards, and also adding a receiving touchdown as well.
"It felt good to get the cobwebs off," said Richard postgame. "I did well, but there's always room for improvement. I'm going to take this game is a step forward to continue to improve."
Johnny Holton Impresses Again– The undrafted wide receiver from the University of Cincinnati has enjoyed a quality training camp and preseason, and Saturday night at the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum he delivered yet again.
Holton was on the field for 38 plays (54%), and finished the night with three catches for 54 yards. He also returned one kickoff for 23 yards.
Malcolm Smith Paces The Defense– Smith played 46 snaps (77%) in Saturday's loss to the Titans, finishing the game with a team-leading seven tackles.
Smith has quietly put together a quality preseason, and having him in top form when the team begins the regular season in New Orleans will pay dividends for the defensive unit as a whole.
David Amerson Gets Involved – It sure looks like the rangy cornerback enjoys playing the Tennessee Titans.
Last season when the two teams met in Nashville, Amerson delivered his signature performance of the season, and Saturday night he delivered another impressive effort.
Amerson finished the game with six total tackles, one tackle for loss, one pass defensed, as well as providing sticky coverage throughout the 44 snaps (73%) he was on the field.
Branden Jackson Brings Down The Quarterback– The Raiders defense finished the night with one sack, and it came from rookie defensive end Branden Jackson.
The former Texas Tech Red Raider certainly made the most of his 13 defensive snaps (22%), as he finished the evening with the aforementioned sack, three total tackles, one tackle for loss, and one quarterback hit.