Raiders vs. 49ers preseason Week 1 score: Trey Lance finds mixed results as Las Vegas cruises to blowout win
Las Vegas rolls in the preseason Week 1 finale
The 49ers entered Sunday's 2023 preseason opener looking to gain some clarity at quarterback, where former first-round picks Trey Lance and Sam Darnold are competing behind incumbent starter Brock Purdy. Instead, they may have stumbled upon more questions. Whereas the opposing Raiders enjoyed a sterling performance from fourth-round rookie Aidan O'Connell, who started and played almost the entire game in place of a resting Jimmy Garoppolo, Lance and Darnold managed just a single score in a 34-7 defeat.
Technically the 49ers' starting QB job is still up for grabs, but Purdy, who's been on and off the practice field while returning from elbow surgery, is listed as the No. 1 on San Francisco's unofficial depth chart. Lance seemingly has the most to gain in the preseason, logging just four starts in two injury-riddled seasons since entering as a No. 3 overall pick. But he found mixed results at best Sunday. The 23-year-old was 10 of 15 for 112 yards and a touchdown through the air, but he also threw a pair of near-interceptions and took four sacks, leading the 49ers to a single scoring drive on six possessions.
Darnold also dealt with iffy protection after relieving Lance, and he offered some prettier downfield throws, including a 37-yard sideline loft to Ronnie Bell. But even with a more balanced offensive script, the ex-Jets and Panthers starter couldn't get San Francisco back on the scoreboard. He finished 5 of 8 for 84 yards before giving way to former Bengals reserve Brandon Allen.
O'Connell, meanwhile, was practically perfect for the Raiders (you can check out).
The Purdue product, drafted 135th overall this April, started in place of Garoppolo, the former 49ers standout who's struggled to stay healthy over the years. He proceeded to go 15 of 18 for 141 yards and a touchdown in his unofficial NFL debut, spreading the ball around to make a case for Las Vegas' top reserve job. Journeyman Brian Hoyer is currently listed as Garoppolo's backup, but he didn't play in Sunday's game, with Chase Garbers taking over late.
Nothing is going the 49ers' way. They finally get within field-goal range again, but Jake Moody can't connect from 57 after missing from 40 earlier in the day. It's a 24-7 ballgame with Josh McDaniels clapping in satisfaction.
It's a Raiders party! Sincere McCormick, the 2022 undrafted backup, bursts in for the rushing TD as Las Vegas extends its lead. Josh McDaniels should be proud of the young guns' performance this evening. The score was fueled by a takeaway from the "D."
A couple of fourth-and-short stops by both sides in this game. Sam Darnold has thrown some pretty balls with a clean pocket, but he gets stuffed at the line on an attempted QB sneak, so Raiders take over. Aidan O'Connell still out there as Las Vegas' signal-caller. He's played every snap so far, and we're almost into the fourth quarter.
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