The Raiders gave fans something to be excited about after their first preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals. Considering it was the first preseason game after a shortened off season, the Raiders looked surprisingly prepared for the regular season.
In their second preseaoson game, the Raiders gave their fans something to be worried about. Just a week after the 49ers saw their quarterbacks get demonilshed by the New Orleans Saints, the Raiders struggled to put pressure on the 49ers quarterbacks.
Not only did the Raiders defensive line struggle to put pressure on 49ers passers, they also began to look like the Raiders of seasons past who just could not stop the run. 49ers runningbacks had a great day against a Raiders defensive line that many thought could make a legitimate argument for being one of the best in the league.
If the struggles along the defensive line weren’t bad enough, the Raiders offense looked, well Niners-esque on Saturday. The running game never got going and the passing game struggled at times, especially in terms of keeping pressure off of the Oakland Raiders quarterbacks.
Shockingly, one of the few bright spots for the Raiders was former first round pick, Darrius Heyward-Bey.
In his first preseason game, Heyward-Bey mad an impressive catch (with his hands and not his body no less) that caught many fans off guard. Then, against the Niners, Heyward-Bey made two very impressive catches. Both while in tight coverage and neither was an easy catch.
Meanwhile, the reciever that everyone was anxious to see did not have the breakout game that most were hoping. Fifth round pick, Denarious Moore has been all the talk of the Radiers off season. Impressing in camp with his playmaking abilities, he appeared to be the next Jacoby Ford.
Moore had back to back catches for first downs in the first half of the game, but was unable to do anything else at the wide receiver position. He did however, have the opportunity to return a kickoff, and once again looked explosive, taking it 48 yards and putting the Raiders in good field position.
Even if Moore does not break the starting lineup as a wide receiver, he should be the Raiders new kick returner come opening day. This is big for two reasons. First, it means that the Raiders’ struggles to find a good kick returner are in the past as they have both Moore and Ford. It is also important because if Ford is going to have a big season as a wide receiver, the Raiders will not want to risk him getting injured on kick returns.
This was only a preaseason game, but it certainly did not go the way that the Raiders had hoped it would. It is not the end of the world by any means, but it made one thing clear: the Raiders still have a lot they need to work on if they want to make a push for the playoffs this season.
The Raiders’ ridiculous string of injuries continued on Saturday as starting quarterback Jason Campbell and starting tight end Kevin Boss both suffered injuries against the 49ers.
It appears as though Campbell may have suffered a concussion when he was sacked towards the end of the first half. Fortunately for the Raiders, it does not look too serious, and he will likely be back practicing sometime this week.
Kevin Boss on the otherhand, may miss a little more time. Boss sprained his knee in the game and is week to week, which means he will likely miss at least one preseason game.
So far, none of the Raiders’ injures, besides the injury to Hiram Eugene, have been too serious, with Louis Murphy being the only player likely to miss the start of the season. It is however, still very disconcerting to see so many Raiders go down with injuries this preseason. Having a healthy squad is pivitol to the Raiders success this season.