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3 Things to Watch in Raiders' Preseason Finale

Devon Platana
Three things to watch for in the Las Vegas Raiders' preseason finale against the New England Patriots on Friday.
Three things to watch for in the Las Vegas Raiders' preseason finale against the New England Patriots on Friday. / AP Photos/Doug Murray

The Las Vegas Raiders have been the NFL's hottest team this preseason. Josh McDaniels and co. are 3-0 through their first trio of games, hoping to keep their perfect record together when they host the New England Patriots for their preseason finale on Friday at 8:15 p.m. ET.

Friday's tilt gives several Raiders their final chance to prove that they should be on the 53-man roster. While some players might achieve that goal, others will have their dreams crushed. Needless to say, there are various players and storylines to keep an eye on.

Here are three things to watch for the in the Raiders' preseason finale against the Patriots.

Las Vegas Raiders Preseason

1. Alex Leatherwood, OG

Offensive guard Alex Leatherwood was seen as a big part of the Raiders' offensive line going forward when he was a first-round pick in 2021. Unfortunately, a disastrous rookie campaign has left him in an unfavorable light. Leatherwood hasn't been able to bounce back in the preseason so far, getting benched last week and is now involved in trade rumors after being paired with third-stringers in practice. The 23-year-old clearly needs a strong performance against the Patriots if he hopes to remain in Las Vegas. The Raiders need the best o-line possible to compete in the AFC West and if Leatherwood isn't up to the task, his days in Sin City could be nearing their end.

2. Keelan Cole vs Tyron Johnson

There's no question that Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow will be the Raiders' top-two wide receivers in 2022. The order after that is anyone's guess. Two players duking it out for the No. 3 WR role, though, are Keelan Cole and Tyron Johnson. Cole has made the most of his workload, turning 13 targets into eight catches for 101 receiving yards, while Johnson has 78 yards while catching 7-of-14 targets. The Patriots held the Carolina Panthers to just 192 passing yards last week, so time will tell what opportunities the duo sees. Regardless, a strong performance by either man tonight will go a long way in securing them a defined role in Las Vegas' offense.

3. Will Davante Adams Play?

Raiders fans are rightfully excited to see what Adams can do with Derek Carr as his quarterback this fall. However, they haven't been given that opportunity yet as the All-Pro WR has missed each of Las Vegas' first three preseason games. Even though Adams doesn't "need" the reps, it'd be a good idea for McDaniels to at least see how he's looking in an in-game situation. Nobody's expecting him to play the whole game, but even a few snaps would mean a lot to the hometown crowd. Adams' presence has shaken up the Raiders' foundation for the better and it's time to show fans what he can do on the field.

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Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Devon Platana also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username PepeSilvia0. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.