Wide Receiver Amari Cooper & Quarterback Derek Carr
If you miss football, get excited because the NFL released the list of preseason games for all 32 teams Monday afternoon.
The Oakland Raiders will kick off the preseason with an away game against the Arizona Cardinals, return home for a bout with the Los Angeles Rams, then depart for Dallas to face off against the Cowboys, before battling it out with the Seattle Seahawks at home in the preseason finale.
Following the release of the Silver and Black's preseason schedule, here's what you need know:
- For the second consecutive season, the Raiders will travel to Glendale, Ariz., the opening week of the preseason to take on the Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals fell short of making the playoffs last season after making it to the NFC Championship game in 2015, but they retain one of the best running backs in the game. David Johnson put up impressive numbers in 2016, as he eclipsed 2,100 scrimmage yards and scored 20 touchdowns, en route to his first Pro Bowl and First-Team All-Pro selection. In their first game of the season, it'll be fun to watch Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack try and penetrate the Cardinals offensive line to bring Johnson down.
- In 2016, the Rams returned to the City of Angels, drafted their potential franchise quarterback, finished with a 4-12 record, and changed head coaches. Needless to say, the team's first season back in L.A. could be described as a whirlwind. This will be the first contest between the Silver and Black and the Rams since the team moved back to L.A.
- Not only will the Raiders be tasked with stopping Pro Football Focus' highest rated running back from last year in Johnson (19.8), but the defense will also square-up against PFF's second-highest rated running back in Ezekiel Elliott (16.2). In Week 3, the Raiders will embark on a journey to AT&T Stadium, where they'll encounter three of the NFL's most dynamic playmakers. Elliott could've been named 2016's Rookie of the Year, but quarterback – and fellow teammate – Dak Prescott took it home instead. The rookie out of Mississippi State flourished with the help of veteran wide receiver Dez Bryant. The Cowboys and the Raiders were two of the NFL's best teams last year and have plenty of youth to continue being successful for years to come. As if the preseason matchup between these two teams wasn't good enough, they'll also play each other at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum during the regular season.
- It's been 12 years since the Silver and Black faced an opponent in the final week of the preseason other than the Seattle Seahawks, and that streak won't end in 2017. The Raiders' last victory against the Seahawks came in 2014 – quarterback Derek Carr's rookie season – when the team pulled out a 41-31 victory behind a trio of Carr touchdowns. The two sides are quite familiar with one another, considering Raiders linebacker Bruce Irvin and defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr., both won a Super Bowl with Seattle back in 2014. The final game of the preseason against the Seahawks should serve as a nice transition into the 2017 regular season.
All games will be broadcast locally on the Raiders radio flagship, 95.7 The GAME, and its affiliate stations.
Preseason times and specific dates will be announced at a later date.