What We Saw: Preseason Week 1

Catch everything you missed from a weekend chock full of football

49ers @ Raiders

Final Score: Raiders 34, 49ers 7

Writer: Mike Miklius (@SIRL0INofBEEF on Twitter)


The final game of the week was a west-coast showdown with plenty to see at the QB position. For the 49ers, it’s a fight for the QB2 spot between Trey Lance and Sam Darnold–two former third-overall picks on the verge of obscurity playing second fiddle to Mr. Irrelevent. In Las Vegas, rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell had his first shot to impress. So how did it go? Trey Lance struggled, nearly throwing two picks and often looking flustered. Sam Darnold looked a little better, but still not starter material. As for fourth-round pick Aidan O’Connell, it was a different story. O’Connell started hot and looked good throughout, immediately finding a rhythm as the Raiders dominated the 49ers. Here’s what I saw today.


San Francisco 49ers




Trey Lance: 10/15, 112 yards, TD, 4 sacks | 1 carry, 2 yards


Trey Lance started for San Francisco and it was a rough one today. It began with Lance getting sacked on first and third down. The next drive saw Lance facing quick pressure again before making a short completion and an off-target throw. With the showing from the offensive line, it’s fair to wonder if Kyle Shanahan even wants Lance to look good. Lance went three-and-out again on the third series, starting with an overthrow when he finally had a good pocket. Lance eventually found some rhythm on his fourth drive, completing a quick-hitter to Troy Fumagalli and a jump pass to Willie Snead. The drive ended with a touchdown pass to Ross Dwelley, but let’s rewind. Lance made an ill-advised throw right into a defender’s arms and it should have been picked. By some fortune, the ball bounced perfectly to Dwelley and the box score says TD instead of INT. Lance nearly threw another almost-pick on his sixth drive: he released a pass over the middle directly into a linebacker’s arms, but it fell safely to the ground.


  • Lance was being chased around early and understandably had trouble getting into a rhythm
  • The San Francisco O-line was seriously that bad today


Sam Darnold: 5/8, 84 yards | 1 carry, 0 yards


After Trey Lance struggled, the door was open for Sam Darnold to impress. His first throw was a bad miss on a designed quick-hit pass. His next made up for it: Darnold threw a beautiful deep ball to rookie Ronnie Bell for 16 yards. Darnold looked good the rest of the drive and the Lance truthers should be shaking. Darnold made a nice throw on his second drive, but it was quickly punched out for a fumble. Darnold made a few shaky decisions, but overall his day was strong. Seriously, don’t trust the San Fran QB box scores today because Darnold looks like the QB2 and Lance looks lost.

Missed Opportunities

  • Sam Darnold led a few nice drives that just seemed to fall apart: a missed fourth-and-one, a fumbled catch, and a missed field goal.


Brandon Allen: 5/8, 36 yards, INT


Running Back


Tyrion Davis-Price: 9 carries, 29 yards


Tyrion Davis-Price had a few nice runs today, highlighted by a 7-yard dash where he looked strong as he powered through the first defender. Don’t get me wrong though: no one here is challenging CMC. TDP was just the best of what I saw here.


Jordan Mason: 5 carries, 17 yards | 1 target

Jeremy McNichols: 4 carries, 7 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 11 yards




Wide Receiver/Tight End


Ronnie Bell: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 58 yards | 1 carry, 15 yards


Ronnie Bell was fun to watch today, and it was clear San Francisco wanted to create touches for him. His first was a 15-yard run and he looked quick as he held back a tackler. Later, he made a beautiful catch on a deep ball from Sam Darnold along the sideline. It was tight coverage and the kind of catch you see from Davante Adams or Justin Jefferson. Bell’s only miscue of the day was a bobbled catch that ended up an interception. Save for that one play, Bell looks ready to jump right into the Shanahan machine.


Chris Conley: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 47 yards

Troy Fumagalli: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 30 yards

Isaiah Winstead: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 22 yards

Ross Dwelley: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 18 yards, TD

Cameron Latu: 1 target, 1 reception, 9 yards, fumble (Lost)


Rookie tight end Cameron Latu made a nice catch, but immediately had it punched out. It took quite an effort to free the ball, but it’s still a concern. Let’s keep an eye on this moving forward.



Las Vegas Raiders




Aidan O’Connell: 15/18, 141 yards, TD, sack | 2 carries, 7 yards


Aidan O’Connell started off fast and just kept going. The rookie fourth-rounder threw a nice pass over the middle to rookie receiver Tre Tucker to start. O’Connell’s play of the day was probably his next pass: a play-action shot to Cole Fotheringham that was placed beautifully. The first drive found the endzone with a Zamir White plunge. O’Connell came out strong on the following drive and did well against increased pressure. He made another excellent pass on the team’s fourth drive that was overturned–a picture-perfect 34-yard strike. I came away from this contest excited to see more of the rookie and hopeful that things won’t completely fall apart when Jimmy G inevitably goes down.


  • Did a good job handling pressure and evading what should have been a sack
  • Threw accurately while being chased down by a defender


Chase Garbers: 3/5, 11 yards, TD | 1 carry, 3 yards


Running Back


Zamir White: 13 carries, 43 yards, TD


Zamir White dominated the team’s first drive, totaling seven carries, 28 yards, and a touchdown. White ran well, looking quick as he followed what was admittedly good blocking. He showed good balance against tackles and was fast through holes. There was only one fourth down run where White failed to impress: a fourth-and-one that seemed like he should have had it but was quickly stood up. Still, this was a good outing and a great sign if anything happens to Josh Jacobs.


Sincere McCormick: 9 carries, 27 yards, TD | 1 target, 1 reception, 2 yards

Ameer Abdullah: 5 carries, 22 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 4 yards

Damien Williams: 4 carries, 15 yards



Wide Receiver/Tight End


Cole Fotheringham: 5 targets, 5 receptions, 71 yards


Cole Fotheringham did a great job consistently getting open and he was Aidan O’Connell’s favorite security blanket. Fotheringham found space for a long connection early. He was open when O’Connell was in trouble staring down an intense pass rush. It happened again later while O’Connell was running for his life. Cole had an excellent day and should see a bigger opportunity next week; if this keeps up, Fotheringham could help soften the blow of losing Darren Waller.


Keelan Cole Sr: 6 targets, 6 receptions, 29 yards, TD

Phillip Dorsett: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 19 yards

Tre Tucker: 3 targets, 1 reception, 15 yards


Rookie receiver Tre Tucker showed well in his first professional action, making the first catch of the game for the Raiders for 15 yards. His biggest moment was a 34-yard sideline grab that was later overturned, but he still made an amazing play and it’s not lost on me what he’s already showing: Tucker can play. Hopefully, he sees more action in week 2.

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