Raiders Preseason: Five Early Observations

In what little they’ve played, the 2017 Raiders look strikingly similar to the 2016 version.

The offense – even without Donald Penn – was explosive and the defense – even with Khalil Mack-  wasn’t able in impose its will even upon Jared Goff.

Here are five observations from Saturday’s preseason home opener.

5. Marshawn Lynch is already hitting running lanes harder than anything we’ve seen in silver and black in years. He’s going to be a force, but how will he hold up? At 31, will he wear down late in games – particularly in the second half of the season? Something to keep an eye on.

4. The Raiders are thin at some key positions. Big decisions are looming at cornerback and middle linebacker, but regardless of who starts, what happens if there’s an injury at either position? Reggie McKenzie needs to find viable options behind Marquel Lee and Sean Smith (particularly with Conley out) yesterday. Sure, McKenzie can find free agents that can contribute when final roster cuts are made, but that’s a risky way to do business in this league.

3. The Raiders offensive line held up without Donald Penn. Who knows where Penn’s holdout goes from here, but if he’s waiting for a meltdown at left tackle, he’ll have to wait at least another week.

2. Tight ends are going to be a big part of the Raiders offense this year. Get ready. Along with Carr having more freedom, tight end involvement will be one of the obvious adjustments from last year’s offensive attack. Raider tight ends may catch as many touchdowns this season as Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree combined.

1. The Raiders will be hard pressed to get past the Patriots in January (or November) without vast improvements on defense. Despite having arguably the best defensive player in the league, Jack Del Rio and Ken Norton Jr. haven’t found a groove (yes, it’s still only preseason) with the defensive unit. Whether it’s communication or something else, the Raider defense continues to be reactive, seemingly always a step behind the offense – even a Jared Goff-led offense.

twitter: @raidersbeat


6 thoughts on “Raiders Preseason: Five Early Observations

  1. I know Its pre season and it’s not smart to make observations based on meaningless games. But our defense looked just like last year! Sean Smith still can’t cover and can’t tackle. Reggie Nelson just looking for the big play. Constantly out of position. Linebackers getting abused(I know there young but they must step up!) TJ Carrie looking terribly confused! And they just can’t get off the field. Looking more and more like the offense is going to have to carry this team again! Thank God our offense is so strong. They can outscore almost any team. But we all know you must have a DECENT defense when the playoffs arrive!

  2. Someone please tell me RM is looking into trading Penn for help on the defensive side of the ball…

  3. Hey would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using?
    I’m going to start my own blog soon but I’m having a tough time choosing
    between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and
    Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique.
    P.S Apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

  4. If Penn wants another 5M trading or cutting him shouldnt be off the good cb is really out there now though& if we’re so terrible at ml why not bring back Perry Riley and let the young guys develope…but if Penn is traded #Mo Wilkerson!!!

  5. I would really hate to give up on D Penn, but the Defense needs a lot of help, a trade could help…

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