The 2022 Raiders preseason ended Friday night in Las Vegas. It was the last chance many Raiders players had to make a strong impression, both on the Raiders and on other teams that might be watching.
The goal here for many of these hopeful candidates is to make the Raiders’ decision very difficult. For others, it was to give the Raiders the confidence to keep them.
Some achieved those goals, others did not.
CB Sam Webb
No one stepped up bigger than Webb. If only because he stepped out of obscurity to make his presence feel grand. The unwritten Missouri Western rookie was everywhere.
First quarter possession started with Webb forcing an incomplete cover and ended two games later, making the tackle short of the sticks.
The next drive, he held a short catch to make the tackle, had cover on an incomplete third down to force the Pats to go for it on the fourth down, and had cover on Davante Parker in the end zone, putting him off for an offensive penalty for a pass interference. Webb also occasionally enforces continuous sentences.
The next possession ended with Webb again holding the game to make the tackle short of the sticks. He finished two more drives in the third quarter with a tackle shortly before the first down and a pass breakup on a deep try. He finished tied for the team lead with five solo tackles.
THE Tashawn Bower
Bower took an already impressive preseason and put an exclamation point on it. With the team needing a lot of depth behind Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones, Bower made a big statement that he could be the next man.
He did it all in this game on defense. He made stops in the run play, he tackled a receiver outside and, most importantly, he got pressure on the QB. To the tune of two sacks and a QB hit.
His second bag was a strip bag. And while the Raiders didn’t recover, Bower made up for it later, when he recovered a fumble that ended the game for the Patriots. He led all defensive linemen with five combined tackles, all solo.
LB Luke Masterson
No player in this game did himself more favors than Masterson. He was simply masterful at proving his worth.
Why am I saying that? Well, partly because fringe roster guys like him have to make big appearances on special teams. And Masterson had two special teams in this game.
However, it was more than his special teams play. He appeared as a linebacker on defense when he teamed up for a tackle for loss in the second game of the game. Then he appeared in cover on the next ride, took a pass over the middle and brought it back 30 meters. The Raiders would score a touchdown on that turnover.
LB Darien Butler
The man who led the team with seven combined tackles. He teamed up with Masterson to make that tackle for a loss in the second game of the game. After that he just played relatively flawless football the rest of the way, was where he needed to be and made the stop when it needed to be made.
P AJ Cole, K Daniel Carlson
If there were other kickers on this team at this point, these two would have been parked on the sidelines with the starters. But there aren’t any, so they just went out and showed that they might be the best kicker/punter duo in the league.
Cole’s first two punts traveled 64 yards and 63 yards. Then he opened the third quarter with a 62-yard punt with no return. His last kick went for 35 yards and was caught fairly on the 13-yard line.
Carlson scored all three of his field goals, including a 50-yarder.
WR Isaiah Zuber — He earned the nickname “Two-Way Zay” in this one. Because he had a nice catch on offense, then picked out a deep pass when he was also put into play safely.
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