Takeaways From Yesterday's Raiders Preseason Game Against the Arizona Cardinals
We're ten days away from the start of the NFL season and this week team must cut down to a 75-man roster. After the Raiders loss at home yesterday, here are my thoughts going into the last week of the preseason.
- •Our offense appears to have taken a step back.Something was not clicking at all with the first string offense. Derek Carr was overthrowing passes, receivers were bobbling catches, and starting running back Latavius Murray wasn't able to gain more than one combined yard. Rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper said after the game that the setting sun kept blinding him. The fear there is that the sun will be setting towards the end of each game. Murray wasn't the only runner who had problems which seems to have been exacerbated by...
- •OT Menelik Watson ruptured his Achilles' tendon.The injury has the Manchester-borne lineman out for the season. The sudden shakeup saw backup Austin Howard takeover earlier than expected, but the loss of Watson saw the Raiders ground game suffer significantly. Longtime Raider Khalif Barnes will also be available to sub in, but Oakland will be forced to find an extra Right Tackle among players waived this week.
- •First team defense shined during their play time.Captained by second-year sensation DE Khalil Mack and future Hall of Famer S Charles Woodson, the Raiders dominated Arizona's offensive starters. Former Raider QB Carson Palmer was threatened on multiple plays. He was sacked a total of four times- twice each by Mack and DE Mario Edwards Jr. - and picked off twice by free agent acquisition S Nate Allen. The only dangers for the raiders defense were...
- •DJ Hayden continues to disappointThe third year corner back and General Manger Reggie McKenzie's first ever draft pick for the team racked up several penalties including multiple personal fouls. Considering the lack of play time he's had in his career due to injuries, it's becoming increasingly difficult to justify keeping Hayden on the starting roster.
- •Raiders defensive depth has a number of holes to fillThe second half was a different story from the dominant showing in the game's first 30 minutes. Arizona's second team was able to gain too much ground on the Raiders linebacker core and took Oakland by surprise with several distance receptions. One noticeably factor was the absence of OLB Sio Moore. The fan favorite was limited to special teams duties. No word on the reasons for this change from either head coach Jack Del Rio or Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton Jr.
- •Sebastian Janikowski remains the team's old reliableThe Polish Powder Keg continued to show why Al Davis drafted him in the first round (17th overall) back in 2000. Scoring all of Oakland's first half points, Janikowski was 5/5 on field goals, including a rocket from 49 yards out. With the increased distance for PAT kicks, the Raiders have nothing to fear with SeaBass kicking it through the uprights.