Fans welcomed to Allegiant Stadium for first-time in Raiders win
For the first time in its young history, Allegiant Stadium welcomed fans Saturday, Aug. 14 amidst COVID-19 for the Las Vegas Raiders 20-7 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
Per ESPN’s Game Information, a little over 50,000 fans showed up equaling 77% capacity.
Fans were not required to be vaccinated nor test negative prior to entering the stadium, but owner Mark Davis talked about how that could change as the regular season approaches.
"Health and safety will always be No. 1," Davis told ESPN. "The mask mandate is a good idea. I don't know how you can actually police it. If 100 percent of people are wearing masks, then we're on to something. If not, we might have to take a little tougher approach. What we don't want is to get back to (limited) attendance capacities. We want to be at full capacity at all times."
Key starters for both teams didn’t see action per the normal standards for preseason. Quarterbacks Derek Carr, Marcus Mariota, Russell Wilson and skill players DK Metcalf, Josh Jacobs and Darren Waller all did not play.
With Carr and Mariota sidelined, Nathan Peterman stepped up behind center and played the entirety of the game for the silver and black.
Peterman finished with 246 yards while completing 29-of-39 passes including one interception and no touchdowns. He also rushed six times for 32 yards.
His best throw came on a deep sideline heave to receiver Zay Jones. Peterman dropped the ball in a tight window to Jones – who was sandwiched between his defender and the sideline.
Las Vegas had a strong night running the football. Between six different runners, the unit tallied 158 yards on 36 carries (4.4 yards per rush) and two touchdowns.
The backup running back spot will be a battle to watch going forward between Trey Ragas and BJ Emmons. Both backs scored but Ragas also added three receptions for 20 yards.
Ragas’ ability to catch the ball will certainly catch head coach Jon Gruden’s eye as the team often deployed Devontae Booker as the pass-catching back last year to complement the downhill bruiser Jacobs.
If there is one more aspect of the game the team will need to improve on from last season, it is most certainly the defense, particularly the pass rush.
The team finished with one sack and three QB hits.
There are heavy expectations for third-year pass rusher Clelin Ferrell. He, along with free agent Yannick Ngakoue, will need to regularly and often wreak havoc for opposing offenses so the secondary isn’t left stranded.
The Raiders will travel to Southern California to spar with the LA Rams in joint practices leading up to next Saturday’s bout with the Rams.