With two preseason contests all wrapped up, the Las Vegas Raiders are sitting pretty with a 2-0 record. Next up for the Raiders is a matchup against the Miami Dolphins, and it’s time to make some preseason Week 2 predictions.
The Silver and Black started their preseason journey by heading to Canton as the team faced off against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the league’s annual Hall of Fame Game. After picking up a win in Ohio, the Raiders flew back home to welcome the Minnesota Vikings at Allegiant stadium. Now, with both the Jaguars and Vikings tasting defeat at the hands of Las Vegas, the Raiders head to Miami.
There are lots of givens in this contest. We know the spotlight is on Alex Leatherwood as he looks to fend off seventh-round pick Thayner Munford at right tackle, and it’s no secret that Jarrett Stidham will look to deliver the knockout blow for the battle at QB2.
What are some of the more bold predictions, though?
Those are the things we’re going to focus on here; predictions that are a bit less obvious, and have a higher chance of not coming to pass. Here are two bold predictions for Saturday’s contest when the Las Vegas Raiders square off against the Dolphins in Miami.
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Las Vegas Raiders Preseason Week 2 Predictions
2. Austin Walter takes over … again
At this point, there’s almost nothing too bold about claiming Austin Walter is going to have a great showing.
Walter leads all Raiders in rushing yards through the first two contests and is tied for the most touchdowns on the ground by a running back in Las Vegas. The 26-year-old back also ranks No. 1 on the team in yards per carry (min. 6 attempts).
When Walter signed with the Raiders, it seemed pretty clear he was a camp body. Running backs Josh Jacobs, Kenyan Drake, Brandon Bolden and Zamir White were miles ahead of the former Jet, and Ameer Abdullah had already been gaining traction in camp.
While most of that still holds true, there’s a very real chance Walter makes the 53-man roster, even if he’s still on the outside looking in for the time being. Despite all these names above the halfback, all eyes have been on him.
Austin Walter is 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 starting to get my attention.
— Levi Edwards (@theleviedwards) August 14, 2022
The preseason standout has shown a great combination of vision, elusiveness and burst. There’s still a hill for Walter to climb if he wants to make the roster, so that’ll have to continue as he battles the big names ahead of him on the depth chart.
Is another big day around the corner against Miami? For my money, absolutely.
1. T-Billy follows up D.J. Turner’s monster day, shows Raiders made the right choice with Robinson cut
When the Raiders trimmed their roster to 85 players on Tuesday, wideout Demarcus Robinson was a surprise cut. Robinson didn’t get the boot because he performed the worst, but rather because the young duo of Tyron Johnson and D.J. Turner have been undeniably great.
On Sunday, Turner had a massive game. Not only did the 25-year-old log 58 yards through the air, but he also looked great on special teams. Turner returned one punt for 26 yards, nearly beating the last wave of Vikings’ special team defenders for six.
That was Turner. Now, it’s T-Billy’s turn.
Johnson has had a magical camp, even leading to the ultimate praise by his head coach.
“I’m really proud of him,” McDaniels expressed when talking about T-Billy.
It’s no surprise that Turner and Johnson have excelled together. There’s a reason that’s the case — the two young men feel their careers are one in the same and help each other out. D.J. Turner let that be known on Wednesday.
“We try to bring each other up as much as we can. He kind of comes from a similar background, being undrafted, being on the practice squad for a couple years. He helps me out a lot.”
Turner even went as far as crediting T-Billy for his huge game against Minnesota this past Sunday.
“We were literally in the team meeting the night before the game, he came up to me and was like, ‘I feel like you’re about to score.’ I was like, ‘Thank you. I need you to bring that good energy to me.'”
Johnson is more motivated than ever himself.
“I want to showcase that I can do a lot more things than just speed”, the wideout stated.
T-Billy knows being versatile is the best way to make the 53-man roster, and he wants to prove he’s just that.
The Raiders took a big leap of faith when they went the Johnson and Turner route over veteran Demarcus Robinson. This level of belief in the 26-year-old should only continue keeping the fire lit in his heart.
Except big things from Johnson on Saturday.