Raiders fall to 49ers in preseason finale

Kirk Kern
preseason finale
Aug 29, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Nathan Peterman (3) runs the ball against the San Francisco 49ers in the third quarter at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Raiders fell behind early and couldn’t make up any ground in a 34-10 loss on the road to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Aug. 29, in the preseason finale.

“The 49ers were a tough opponent for us today,” said Raiders quarterback Jon Gruden. “We gave a lot of guys a lot of opportunity today and gave us a lot of great tape to evaluate. It was painful to lose, especially the way we did, but we’re anxious to make sure we keep the right 53 guys.”

The 49ers alternated quarterbacks early in the game switching between Jimmy Garappalo and first-round draft pick Trey Lance and both were part of long scoring drives. Garappolo scored a touchdown on a 1-yard run with 8:02 left in the first quarter and Lance scored from 2-yards out on the second play of the second quarter.

“They came out alternating quarterbacks,” Gruden said of the preseason finale. “Running zone reads. We didn’t card up a lot of those plays. I give the 49ers credit. They got us on a lot of those looks.”

preseason finale
Aug 29, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan meets with Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden after the game at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Raiders cut the lead to 14-3 on a 51-yard Daniel Carlson field goal, but the 49ers extended the lead to 20-3 at the half on two Robbie Gould field goals, a 21-yarder with 1:33 left and a 19-yarder with no time left in the half.

The Raiders scored a touchdown with 4:40 left in the third quarter when Nathan Peterman hit tight end Nick Bowers for a 16-yard scoring pass. The 49ers answered quickly, however, with a three-play drive that ended with a 35-yard touchdown run by JaMycal Hasty that extended the lead to 27-10.

After an interception by Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the 49ers scored again on another Hasty run, this time a 3-yarder that gave the 49ers a 34-10 lead.

preseason finale
Aug 29, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (49) runs with the ball alongside linebacker Elijah Sullivan (59) and cornerback Ambry Thomas (20) during the third quarter against the Las Vegas Raiders at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Peterman again took all the snaps for the Raiders, as starter Derek Carr was held out and Marcus Mariota was injured. He finished with 175 yards on 18-for-29 passing with one touchdown and one interception. Trey Ragas led the rushing attack with 39 yards on nine carries.

Preseason finale will help Gruden evaluate roster

A lot of young players got a lot of reps in the preseason finale and Gruden was noncommittal as to who made their case to make the team without looking at the game tape. But so far, he’s been very satisfied with the way the training camp and preseason has worked out.

“We’ve had a good offseason,” Gruden said. “When we were in Los Angeles and scrimmaging the Rams, our starters had two good days down there. It’s gonna be a unique challenge for every team this year. There’s gonna be some idle time before the opener. But first things first, we’ve got to cut the roster down to 53 and that’ll be the process of how we negotiate our future.”

Second-year player Amik Robertson felt good about his overall play, finishing with six tackles, five solo. 

“When you’re playing fast, you’re gonna miss some plays,” he said. “Just try and win more than you lose. Just try and focus on the little things.”

Rookie Dillon Stoner led the team with three catches for 69 yards. The undrafted free agent wide receiver from Oklahoma State said he appreciated Gruden having the rookies fully indoctrinate themselves with the playbook just for days like this.

“All you can do is all you can do,” Stoner said. “I felt like I did that today. Leave the rest in Gods hands.”