Raiders Preseason: Seahawks first opponent as Allegiant Stadium opens to fans

Raiders preseason
Jan 9, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) avoids the tackle by Los Angeles Rams linebacker Leonard Floyd (54) during the third quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks come to Allegiant Stadium as the Raiders preseason schedule kicks off Saturday night.

The game features a team with a new offensive coordinator (Seattle) against a team with a new defensive coordinator (Las Vegas). Both teams are hoping to get their new coordinators off on the right foot.

“Guys just being able to do what they’ve done in here—carry the preparation to the game field and show it,” said Seattle coach Pete Carroll on Seahawks.com. “Then of course it’s always about tackling. Coaches feel like we may never tackle anybody because we haven’t yet; we use the games for that.

“We’ve been preparing, we’ve been doing all the drills and everything we can do, but not until you hit somebody. But over the years our guys always get it done, they come out flying and running and hitting. I’m really not worried about that, I’m just kind of anxious to see it happen, see who’s who, and let these guys show themselves.”

The Seahawks have implemented a new offense under new coordinator Shane Waldron. As this is the first Raiders preseason game of the season, starters aren’t expected to play much so and even those who do play may not get the chance to reveal the game plan in a meaningless preseason game.

Don’t expect to see much of Russell Wilson and the first-team offense, just as Derek Carr and his No. 1 offense probably won’t see much action either. The same is true for the defenses.

The Seattle defense has a lot of competition in the defensive backfield, with Ahkello Witherspoon, Tre Flowers, D.J. Reed and Damarious Randle all competing for playing time along with rookie Tre Brown.

The Seahawks have had some injuries along the offensive line, which should mean lots of playing time for sixth-round pick Stone Forsythe.

Other injured Seahawks are tight end Colby Parkinson, cornerback Reed, running back Rashaad Penny, tight end Tyler Mabry, guard Damien Lewis and receiver Penny Hart.

Raiders preseason will show off new offensive line

Usually, first-teamers don’t play much, but two of the Raiders inexperienced first-team linemen may get a chance to get some game-time reps.

Rookie tackle Alex Leatherwood is making his debut with the Raiders and center Andre James has been in the league three years, but he’s been a backup for his time in the league.

Raiders preseason
Jul 28, 2021; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Las Vegas Raiders tackle Alex Leatherwood (70) is pictured during a team practice at Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center in Henderson. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

“We want to see our right tackle play a little bit,” coach Jon Gruden said of first-round pick Leatherwood. “We want to see our new center play a little bit. We’ve got some young players that are competing for jobs that need to play a lot, so we are going to look at them. A couple of veteran guys won’t play, but you’ll see our first-round draft choice and you’ll see our young center.”

Despite the recent spike in COVID-19 cases nationwide, Raider Nation attending the game will not have to provide proof of vaccination.

The game time is 6 p.m. at Allegiant Stadium. The Raiders opened as a half-point favorite, but the line has since gone up to 2.5 and 3 points, according to Vegasinsider.com.