The Raiders may have lost their third straight preseason game, but they looked much better in this game than they have the rest of the preseason. The offense looked good and the run defense appears to have fixed the problems that embarrassed the Raiders against the 49ers last weekend. Unfortunately, the Raiders secondary looked terrible against the Saints.
The Raiders offense came out strong taking the ball 90 yards on their first drive, capping it with a great touchdown catch and run by Derek Hagan, but the Defense just could not stop Drew Brees and the Saints passing game. By the end of the first quarter, the Saints had put up over 140 yards through the air.
Rookie Demarcus Van Dyke looked very raw in his third preseason game. He had difficulties against the Saints receiving corps throughout his time in the game and really did not have a single impressive play. On the other side of the field, Stanford Routt’s best play came when a Brees pass hit him in the back of the head (back of the head since he once again failed to get his head turned around in time for the pass).
While the pass defense struggled, the run defense looked stout most of the game and two new players on the offensive side of the ball really impressed.
Wide receiver Derek Hagan not only ensured a spot on the team with his performance tonight, but he also gave the coaching staff some food for thought when they decide how much playing time receivers are going to be getting in the regular season. Hagan finished the game with six catches for 121 yards and a touchdown. That included two plays with rather impressive runs after the catch.
Rookie Taiwan Jones also impressed in his debut with the Raiders. Jones got 13 touches and put up 81 yards including a 22 yard touchdown run. He also caught two passes for 18 yards. Jones showed the speed and explosiveness that lead the Raiders to draft him an gave Raiders fans something to be excited about.
There is only one preseason game left and the Raiders are finally starting to look like they are ready to start the regular season.