Oakland Raiders: 5 Players To Watch In First Preseason Game

1 of 6

Jul 28, 2014; Napa, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders players join hands in a huddle at training camp at Napa Valley Marriott. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders fans, the countdown is on. Football – though of the preseason variety – is a mere hours away now. But that means the real deal and the games that count are just weeks away now. But until then, we’ll just have to whet our appetites with a little exhibition action.

More from Las Vegas Raiders News

In Oakland’s first match up of the exhibition season, they will be clashing with the St. Louis Rams – though how much longer they’ll remain the “St. Louis” Rams is anybody’s guess – by this time next year, they could still be in St. Louis, or in San Antonio, Los Angeles, or even London for all we know at this point. But for now, they’re still the St. Louis Rams.

But we digress…

Last season, the Raiders hooked up with the Rams in a week 13 tilt that did not go very well for Oakland. Though, that might be something of an understatement. St. Louis really put it on the Raiders, humiliating them to the tune of a 52-0 beatdown.

It was a game in which Shaun Hill looked like a real NFL quarterback, going 13-22 for 183 yards and two touchdowns with zero interceptions. But the star of the game was Rams running back Tre Mason who rushed for 117 yards on 14 carries and scored twice, and tacked on another 47 yards on three receptions and another score.

Needless to say, Oakland’s defense didn’t have a very good day.

Then again, neither did Oakland’s offense as Derek Carr had a miserable outing, going 24-39 for 173 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.

The Raiders, as a whole, stunk up the joint against the Rams last season. But after a very productive offseason that saw the talent and depth vastly improved over last year’s squad, the Raiders are optimistic that the results this year will be markedly different.

But for that to happen, the influx of talented players on Oakland’s roster will have to step up and play to the level of talent the organization believes they have. Which makes the following five players, who are very important, if not critical, to Oakland’s success this season worth watching in an otherwise meaningless contest…

Next: Oakland's Newest Weapon