One. That's the number of times that the Las Vegas Raiders have qualified for the NFL postseason in the last 18 years. Looking to avoid that fate yet again, the Raiders have spent the offseason retooling their team in hopes that their second season in Las Vegas will be more successful than the first.
Fans will have their first opportunity to see if the Raiders can bounce back in 2021 as they're set to host the Seattle Seahawks in preseason action on Saturday. This contest will not only allow Las Vegas to showcase how the team has been shaping up, but it also allows fringe players to make a case as to why they deserve to be added to the 53-man roster.
Here's a look at three Raiders players to watch in Week 1 of the 2021 NFL preseason.
Las Vegas Raiders Players to Watch
1. Nathan Peterman, Quarterback
Raiders second-string quarterback Marcus Mariota was expected to see some action against the Seahawks, however, a leg injury has him questionable for the matchup. That means that the team's third-stringer, Nathan Peterman, could see more work than expected on Saturday. The former Bills QB hasn't had a great start to his NFL career as proven by the fact that he has four times as many interceptions (12) as he does touchdowns (3). Nevertheless, a solid showing by Peterman against the Seahawks could have the Raiders coaching staff rethinking whether or not he or Mariota should be Derek Carr's backup. Even if it doesn't get to that point, Peterman likely doesn't have too many opportunities left in the NFL if he doesn't show improvement, so playing the best to his ability is an absolute must in Week 1 of the preseason.
2. Bryan Edwards, Wide Receiver
Second-year wideout Bryan Edwards has been having a strong training camp so far. He's received a lot of praise from the Raiders coaching staff and has been pulling off highlight-reel catches during practice. Last year, Edwards saw just three starts in 12 games, catching 11 balls for 193 yards and a touchdown. While those statistics aren't overly impressive on their own, the sophomore's 17.5 yards per reception ranked third on the team and he showed off some reliability by not dropping a single pass. With him being expected to be one of the Raiders' top pass-catching options in 2021, look for Edwards to start the year strong against the Seahawks.
3. Karl Joseph, Safety
Sixth-year safety Karl Joseph spent the first four years of his career with the Raiders before playing this past season with the Cleveland Browns. However, he's back with the organization and is expected to challenge Johnathan Abram for the starting job after the latter had a mediocre 2020 campaign. Joseph played 14 games (eight starts) for the Browns last year, recording 67 total tackles, 4 passes defended, a forced fumble and one 49-yard interception. While his 52.7 overall Pro Football Focus grade isn't anything to write home about, it's an improvement over Abram's abysmal 35.9 rating. Joseph is only on a one-year deal, so expect him to make the most out of this opportunity, which begins with Saturday's preseason contest.
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