Usually, in the third NFL preseason game, most of the starters play in a dress rehearsal game and get in their reps before sitting out the final week of the preseason. With only three preseason games this time, most of the top names won't suit up for this game.
The Las Vegas Raiders' offense will definitely sit Josh Jacobs, Derek Carr and Darren Waller. QB Nathan Peterman will be playing most of the game with the backups as he tries to secure a roster spot. Peterman was the only Las Vegas QB playing in the preseason, with 418 yards, a 71% completion rate, one TD, three INT, and 11 carries for 67 yards.
This is a game where you don't worry about winning, but rather just playing well and efficiently. The San Francisco 49ers could see action from all three QBs, as Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance are still competing for the starting job. The rest of the starting lineup for the roster is pretty much set, though.
Las Vegas Raiders vs San Francisco 49ers game preview
Fixture - Las Vegas Raiders at San Francisco 49ers | 2021 NFL preseason Week 3.
Date & Time - Sunday, August 29th, 4:00 PM EST (Monday, August, 30th, 1:30 AM IST).
Venue - Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, CA.
Las Vegas Raiders preview
The Las Vegas Raiders won't play QB Derek Carr, and QB3 Nathan Peterman has played both preseason games entirely.
Backup QB Marcus Mariota could see a few series early in the game, but it'll be all about Peterman as he tries to keep putting up big numbers for a third straight game. Las Vegas didn't really do a dress rehearsal game for their starters, so they'll look at which players will make the 53-man roster.
Two players to watch for the Las Vegas Raiders who are on the roster bubble are OL Devery Hamilton and WR Willie Snead.
Devery Hamilton was cut and then re-signed by the Raiders earlier in the offseason. OT Jaryd Jones-Smith hasn't held up well, and has allowed several sacks and pressure in the preseason so far.
Meanwhile, Hamilton just has to plant his feet, and not allow anyone past him for one game, and he should, at the very least, land on the practice squad. It could be a tough proposition, though, as he has a PFF pass-blocking grade in the low 60s.
WR Willie Snead is a veteran presence, but he hasn't made himself a lock for the final roster. Several promising rookies could end up knocking him off the roster without an impact in the final preseason game. DE Kendal Vickers and SS Divine Deablo are longshots for the 53-man roster, but could make a case for the practice squad on another team with a strong finish.
Key Player - WR Keelan Doss
Keelan Doss has just six catches for 55 yards, and had an awful drop in Week 2. He has a slight edge over rookies DJ Turner and Dillon Stoner, but needs to capitalize against the San Francisco 49ers to both make Nathan Peterman and himself look good in the Las Vegas Raiders' finale.
Projected starting QB - Marcus Mariota.
San Francisco preview
All three QBs could see playing time unless HC Kyle Shanahan names a starter by Sunday morning.
Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance could each see a series or two with Nate Sudfeld taking the bulk of the reps. The WR group should have a ton of focus on them, as Travis Benjamin and Jalen Hurd fight for a roster spot.
Drops have been an issue for the receivers, and a drop in Week 3 can take you from being on the 53-man roster to becoming a free agent. A bright spot in the offense is the depth at RB, with five RBs who could all make the roster. Wayne Gallman and JaMycal Hasty should have most of the carries. Rookie Elijah Mitchell could get his first taste of NFL preseason action this year.
In defense, rookie DB Ambry Thomas was very rusty in his first game in over a year, but showed improvement in the second. If he continues the same trend, he should have a great outing that could lead him to see playing time in Week 1.
Depth at LB is looking great, and it should be a tussle against the Las Vegas Raiders to see who earns the backup roles. Eventually, the San Francisco 49ers need to be able to end the game with minimal injuries, or none, if possible.
That is because WR Richie James is already out with knee surgery; WR Brandon Aiyuk has a nagging injury, and five defensive starters are questionable.
Key Player - CB Ambry Thomas
The third-round rookie opted out of 2020 at Michigan, and has shown some rust in the preseason. He has had better tackling and coverage in Week 2, and should play his best preseason football against the Las Vegas Raiders. Thomas could end up playing some snaps in the season-opener, either at the nickel or as a backup.
Projected starting QB - Jimmy Garoppolo.
Las Vegas Raiders at San Francisco 49ers Match Prediction
The Las Vegas Raiders have gone 2-0 thus far, and Marcus Mariota could open the game with a few drives. There won't be many starters playing, but QB Nathan Peterman has already been able to win two straight preseason games.
With Mariota starting off for a change, the Las Vegas Raiders could go undefeated. However, the San Francisco 49ers' backup secondary is promising, and could snag a late INT to seal the game.
Where to watch Las Vegas Raiders at San Francisco 49ers?
The Las Vegas Raiders at San Francisco 49ers Week 3 preseason finale will air on the NFL Network and local channels for Las Vegas and San Francisco. The game can also be streamed live with an NFL GamePass.