After two preseason games, the Oakland Raiders have begun to establish an identity. The problem is that this identity has left the team with more questions than answers.
Oakland has gone 1-1 through its first two preseason games, but the team's performance hasn't exhibited the improvement that was expected given all of the offseason additions. There have been some signs of what this team could be, but the performance has been disappointing overall.
Heading into Week 3 of the preseason, several veterans on the roster have a lot to prove.
Matt Schaub was brought in to provide the leadership and reliability the offense needed to become at least efficient, but that's yet to be seen. Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley were supposed to add consistent quarterback pressure, but they've combined for zero sacks through two games.
The rookies have shown flashes, but fifth overall pick Khalil Mack hasn't provided the impact many thought he would. CSN Bay Area's Scott Bair notes:
There’s been little in terms of blitzing or moving around, which Mack will do plenty of in the regular season. But, in terms of winning his matchups, the results haven’t been sterling. According to Pro Football Focus, Mack has pressured the quarterback just once – his sack of third-string Lions quarterback Kellen Moore – in 21 snaps rushing the passer.
From veterans to rookies, the Raiders have a lot to prove.
The third preseason game is the closest simulation of a regular-season game. The starters will see more playing time than at any other point in the preseason, and the team will provide the closest sample of what it will look like in Week 1 of the regular season in terms of personnel, playing time and performance.