Three NFL preseason games are on the schedule for Saturday, with Los Angeles Rams at Oakland, Cincinnati at Kansas City, and San Francisco at Dallas. The games will conclude the first full week of preseason contests.
The first match up, Los Angeles Rams and Oakland, is a rivalry game. The Raiders are five-point favorites, and the over/under is 35. The next game is Cincinnati and Kansas City. The Chiefs are 3.5-point picks, and the over/under is 36. The last game is San Francisco and Dallas. The 49ers are favored by 4.5-points, and the over/under is 36.
Oakland and Los Angeles have been conducting joint practices the last two days, and the Raiders offense has had some success against the defending NFC Champions. Derek Carr had several touchdown passes in 7-on-7 drills, but told reporters he was looking for more.
“You always want to be crisper, you always want it to be cleaner,” Carr said. “We were able to hit a couple of touchdowns — we had four or five touchdowns — but man, you want six or seven. That kind of stuff is going to happen. It’s not alarming to anyone in the meeting room or anything like that. But there is stuff we need to correct off the film and stuff we can do better.”
Rams Offense Sharp
Los Angeles seems like it is ready to start the season. Rams Quarterback Jared Goff said he was pleased with Wednesday’s practice. He connected on passes to several receivers.
“Just raised the intensity and the standard a little bit and I think it showed,” Goff said. “All across the board, I thought we were pretty good.”
McVay was impressed.
“It was a much sharper day just in terms of the communication, the urgency that is expected,” McVay said.
Bengals Tested Early
Cincinnati, which is expected to be at the bottom of the AFC North, get a big, early test with the AFC West Champions. Fortunately they don’t have to contend with MVP Patrick Mahomes, who is expected to sit out most of this game.
Still the Bengals will have more than enough to keep them busy. First-year coach Zak Taylor will have to contend with a high-power offense, even without Mahomes. He also has to get familiar with game-type situations. Quarterback Andy Dalton said he has no concerns about his head coach.
“I think he’s done great,” Dalton said. “From the day he stepped in here, you felt the change. Obviously he had a plan for what he wanted, and they’re doing it.”
Dallas, San Francisco Facing Injuries
Both teams have lost some key people on defense, so it will be interesting how those that are thrust into more playing time respond.
San Francisco saw its No. 2 overall pick in the NFL draft, Nick Bosa go down with an ankle injury. Bosa joins a list of 49ers that will miss the preseason because of various injuries. Running back Jerick McKinnon, center Weston Richburg, and cornerback K’Waun Williams have knee injuries. Cornerback Jason Verrett is out with an ankle injury.
Dallas has lost several members of its defensive line. Defensive end Robert Quinn fractured his left hand and won’t play. The front line was already down with injuries to rookie DeMarcus Lawrence (shoulder), and Tyrone Crawford (hip). Randy Gregory remains on the PUP list and has yet to practice. Tyrone Crawford is in the same boat with a hip injury.