Countdown to Paydirt: vs St. Louis Rams

A look at the matchup against the St. Louis Rams for the first week of preseason

The Oakland Raiders had their final training camp practice of the week on Wednesday as they gear up for their first preseason game.

The team will head down to Oakland to host the St. Louis Rams in their first of four preseason contests on Aug. 14 at 7:00 p.m.

The game will be the first for new Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio after he was hired following the departure interim head coach Tony Sparano.

Numerous new Raiders will also be making their Silver & Black debut, including safety Nate Allen, LB Curtis Lofton, LB Malcolm Smith and DT Dan Williams on defense.

While it isn’t known how much the starting defense will play, the game will still give us a better idea of the defense that Del Rio and defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr. will run. The first game back will also give us the opportunity to see how the defensive staff will use second-year linebacker Khalil Mack. Mack is expected to be lined up in a variety of places, especially after being listed on the roster as a defensive end.

The defense will be up against a Rams offense that is now headed by quarterback Nick Foles.

On offense, the Raiders also feature a variety of different players including center Rodney Hudson, TE Lee Smith, OL J’Marcus Webb, wide receiver Michael Crabtree and rookie Amari Cooper.

Though the offense isn’t expected to play too much, it will be the first look at much of the offense for most fans. The Raiders may look to get Cooper going early to give him some confidence, but Crabtree has also been impressive this offseason.

Carr and the offense get the opportunity to go up against a decent defense in the Rams. St. Louis gave up just 22.1 points per game last season.

The Raiders’ young quarterback welcomes the competition.

“You know, we have a couple preseason games against some great defenses which is awesome,” Carr said. “It’s great to get ready for the regular season.”

The Raiders will go back up to Napa for a week before heading out on the road for their first road game of the year, taking on the Minnesota Vikings next week.

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