Raiders

How Raiders rookies fared in impressive preseason win over Cardinals

How Raiders rookies fared in impressive preseason win over Cardinals

The Raiders are counting on their NFL draft class to contribute right away, with several members playing prominent roles on both offense and defense.

That’s why those rookies saw action in the preseason opener when the veterans did not. Workloads didn’t diminish during Thursday’s 33-26 exhibition victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

Clelin Ferrell, Josh Jacobs and Johnathan Abram all were impressive against the Cardinals, which is a good sign for the Silver and Black.

Here's how each of the Raiders' draft picks fared in the desert.

NFL rumors: Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes could return sooner than expected

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NFL rumors: Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes could return sooner than expected

Could the Raiders' window in the AFC West race close before opening?

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes reportedly was expected to miss four-to-six weeks after dislocating his kneecap Thursday night against the Denver Broncos. ESPN's Adam Schefter and NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that Mahomes could return sooner than that. 

A return before -- or just after -- the Chiefs' bye in Week 12 would put the reigning MVP in position to start against the Raiders in Week 12 at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Raiders entered Sunday a game back of the Chiefs in the AFC West standings. Though Oakland will play the Houston Texans, Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Chargers in the next three weeks following Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers. If Mahomes misses each of the next three weeks, the Chiefs will play the Packers, Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans with Matt Moore under center. 

[RELATED: Raiders rookie Crosby savagely trolls Rodgers after big sack]

The Chiefs definitely have a more favorable schedule, but the Raiders would nonetheless view Mahomes' absence as an opportunity to stay in the hunt for a surprise division title, no matter how long it is. The shorter the dynamic QB is out, though, the smaller Oakland's margin for error becomes. 

The Raiders will need to, at the very least, keep pace with the Chiefs while Mahomes is out if they still aspire to win the AFC West. Such an aspiration seemed like an impossibility before the season, but the Raiders' surprise start and Mahomes' injury has it within the realm of possibility. How long it is so will depend on when Mahomes comes back. 

Raiders rookie Maxx Crosby savagely trolls Aaron Rodgers after big sack

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Raiders rookie Maxx Crosby savagely trolls Aaron Rodgers after big sack

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but that wasn't the case Sunday at Lambeau Field. 

With the Raiders trailing the Packers 7-3 in the first quarter and needing a stop, rookie edge rusher Maxx Crosby got into the backfield and slammed Aaron Rodgers to the turf. After sacking the Packers' star quarterback, Crosby made sure to rub it in, mocking Rodgers' title belt celebration while No. 12 lay on the ground.

Rodgers?! Rodgers?! Discount double check!

[RELATED: Report: Raiders plan to be buyers at trade deadline]

The Raiders entered the game at 3-2 and in the thick of the AFC West race. They'll need Crosby and the pass rush to continue to step up if they plan to make an honest run at the division title, though.