If last nights game is any indication, the Raiders should improve on their 4-12 season of a year ago as they beat the life-less San Fran 49ers by a score of 18-6. The Raiders rushing game looked solid as they combined for a total of 248 rushing yards. Darren McFadden performed well, gaining 48 yards on 12 carries as Michael Bush saw his first action since breaking his leg 23 months ago, scoring on a 5-yard run, rushing for 27 yards and getting another 29 yards through the air.
JaMarcus Russell was not much of a factor in this game as he went only 2-for-5 for 13 yards. Andrew Walter performed well, completing 10-of-12 attempts for a total of 82 yards. The Raiders special teams also scored on a 52-yard punt return by Johnny Lee Higgins late in the first half. Justin Fargus ran well, gaining 25 yards on 5 carries.
Said Bush on his return to the field, “after the game, I was halfway in tears because I had not been out there in so long, like 2 years and I was happy just to get the opportunity to play again. I was happy, but at the same time a little bit nervous. I was all over the place.” Said Coach Lane Kiffin of Bush’s return, ” I’m very pleased with Michael, he looked really good. I think we have something special with those three running backs.”
With Fargus and McFadden ahead of him on the dept chart, Bush will need to show off his skills in the pre-season to win a job in the Oakland backfield. In other game notes, Oakland Kicker Sebastian Janikowski missed the game with an injured left leg. The Raiders signed Kicker Aaron Elling for the game. WR Ronald Curry also missed the game with a sore hamstring. Also notable, Raiders rookie Safety Tyvon Branch will need surgery on a broken right thumb he sustained during the game. Next up for the Raiders is pre-season game #2 next Saturday Aug 16 in Tennessee against the Titans.