Most early reports indicated that the Oakland Raiders were having a very good training camp, which is why the team's subpar performance in the preseason opener was so disappointing. The second preseason game was supposed to provide a clearer indication of just how much this team has improved.
But after the team's second preseason game, against the Detroit Lions, it now seems like this really is the state of the 2014 Raiders.
Matt Schaub played better, but he still didn't live up to the expectations that were set when he arrived in Oakland. This was reflected by the offense as a whole, which had two consecutive three-and-outs after the interception and came away with only seven points with Schaub under center.
While the starting offense disappointed again, the starting defense was even worse. The unit put up no real resistance, and the secondary was once again dismantled by the opposing offense. The real cause for concern is that the defense as a whole showed no real improvement since the last game.
There were some positives. Oakland's special teams provided a huge boost to the team's performance. In his first action of the preseason, Sebastian Janikowski showed both power and accuracy, while the Raiders' kick and punt returners gave the offense good field position throughout the game.
The offense also got contributions from some surprise sources. As the Raiders made a push in the second half, Brice Butler and Greg Little stepped up and made some big catches that helped Oakland get back into the game.
The Raiders did play better as the game continued, but this just means that the team played better against the Detroit reserves after the starters left the game. When it was first unit against first unit, Oakland once again looked outclassed and ineffective.
Oakland did end up winning the game 27-26 in thrilling fashion. That's a boost of confidence this Raiders team can really use, and it gives the team something to build on, but it's not enough to cover up the glaring flaws still present in the team's play.