Everyone likes to win, but this is preseason. It’s the first preseason game of a year which features very little practice time beforehand.
It’s far too early to jump to conclusions about the season or any one player. It doesn’t mean that there is nothing to learn from the game.
1. The defensive line looks even more dominant than they did last year. Matt Shaughnessy looks poised for breakout year. They held up on the goal line.
2. The passing game looks ready to take the next step. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Denarius Moore and Kevin Boss all looked the part. Moore got snaps with the first team and made the most of them.
Heyward-Bey made a hands catch and then beat a defender deep only to have Jason Campbell under-throw him. Even Kyle Boller and Trent Edwards looked to be effectively orchestrating the passing offense. David Ausberry looks like he could become something special and a weapon in the receiving game.
3. The offensive line blocked reasonably well. A pleasant surprise. Sacks and pressure mostly came as a result of blitzes, something you aren’t really planning for in preseason games.
First team offensive line (left to right): Jared Veldheer, Daniel Loper, Samson Satele, Cooper Carisle, Khalif Barnes.
Second team: Stephon Heyer, Alex Parsons, Stefen Wisniewski, Roy Schuening, Joseph Barksdale
4. Depth players who looked good last night include Sterling Moore, who made a play, which echos what we have been hearing about him in camp. Chances are improving that he will make the roster. Tommie Hill was consistently getting a good push.
5. Jarvis Moss looks like he is in great shape. He’s motivated and he’s energetic on defense. He could become a key player this season if he continues to play with as much speed and strength as he did last night.
1. Depth in the secondary. After the starters left the game it got ugly. Walter McFadden looked the worst and was picked on repeatedly by the opposing quarterbacks. Jeremy Ware was not exposed in coverage, but could have made a play on the game-winning touchdown catch and run and didn’t. Stevie Brown didn’t even look good, missing the defender completely on an open-field tackle attempt.
Demarcus Van Dyke started strong by blanketing Larry Fitzgerald early. Fitzgerald still made a long reception over Van Dyke, but his coverage was good. He struggled with the backups. He was stiff-armed by Beanie Wells and was beat for a touchdown reception. He needs to bulk up and his speed will not benefit him if he isn’t within five yards. It looked worse than it was for Van Dyke, but he certainly has a steep learning curve.
2. An announced crowd under 30,000 means the Raiders will have a hard time selling out games. On any given week the Raiders will have to sell more individual game tickets than they have season ticket holders. The two for one offer starting August 15th will help, but it’s a steep hill to climb to avoid blackouts.
3. Not much depth at outside linebacker. Travis Goethel may end up sliding outside when the season moves closer, even though his best fit is in the middle. Goethel reminds me of Greg Biekert. Quentin Groves was playing with third and fourth string players and you almost couldn’t tell. Besides those three players there isn’t much depth. None of the backups stood out from the crowd. Raiders are rumored to still be interested in Lofa Tatupu. I’m not sure he can play outside, but he’s a quality option.
4. Mental errors killed the Raiders. Khalif Barnes had three false starts. That’s going to cost him snaps and could cost him his job. Trent Edwards had a delay of game penalty after a penalty. Reading Hue Jackson’s lips on the sideline: “You can’t do that! Come on!”
1. Hiram Eugene dislocated his hip. It’s a season ending injury. The same injury ended Bo Jackson’s career when the injury caused a subsequent conditions that resulted in loss of blood flow.
2. Chaz Schilens hurt his knee. Enough said.
3. Many Raiders players tweeted post game that the team had “a lot” of injuries. We’ll find out who had “nicks” when Hue Jackson talks to the press at 5 p.m.
Plenty of things to correct for Hue Jackson, sadly most of it will be on the back of Chuck Bresnahan. It only took one game for fans to lament his bend, don’t break defense.