Oakland Raiders: 10 Observations From The Raiders First Pre-Season Game
The Raiders played their first game against the Dallas Cowboys. There was plenty to be excited about and plenty to be nervous about.
Last year the Raiders looked sharp after playing Dallas in the preseason and failed to look sharp during the season.
Here are 10 observations from the Raiders first playoff game.
Richard Seymour Is Starting at Defensive Tackle
Tom Cable said he had a great plan for the Raiders defensive line. Many Raider fans were worried that the Raiders would be soft in the middle and critics felt John Henderson would not be enough to help the Raide stop the run.
Well now Richard Seymour appears to be the starting defensive tackle for the Raiders, a position he feels is his natural position.
This should help the Raiders stop the run no question, but if he is playing on the inside who is playing on the outside?
Lamarr Houston Looks Like The Real Deal
Lamarr Houston has been turning heads in camp. Everyone is talking about his energy and how he plays hard in every play.
Nnamdi Asomugha said in an interview during the game that it's nice to see his aggressive play move from the practice field to the game field.
Houston looked very impressive in his first appearance. He had two sacks in the first series and was actually double teamed on various passing plays in the first half.
As good as Houston looked, he may be the second best young defensive end on the Raiders starting line up.
Matt Shaughnessy Is Quietly Becoming a Star.
It's always a good sign when Nnamdi Asomugha feels you will be a star in the league someday.
Matt Shaughnessy had an impressive rookie year and he looks like he's ready to follow up that year with a breakout season.
He had two sacks in the first half and showed the hustle and intensity he brings to the team.
The Big Four Up Front Looked Good.
The Raiders defensive line cannot be talked about enough. They were able to stop the run game early in the first half with ease. They only allowed 66 yards on 22 carried in the whole game.
The front four was able to get to the quarterback and cause havoc in the backfield. They sacked Romo three times in the first drive.
If the Raiders can bring the heat with their front four the defense will be hard to score on. If the starting line up stays the same with Houston, Seymour, Kelly and Shaughnessy the Raiders will have a deep defensive line.
John Henderson, Desmond Bryant and Jay Richardson make solid back ups.
The defensive line looks great. They truly have the potential to be called, "The Black Hole." Running backs go in, but they don't come out.
Nnamdi Land Is Covered, The Opposite Side Not so Much.
The Dallas Cowboys had an easy time moving the ball through the air when they didn't throw to Nnamdi Land.
Chris Johnson was getting picked on during the first half and the Cowboys were moving the ball. It sounds like the Raiders will let Asomugha cover the opposing team's best receiver.
This could be a problem unless someone on the Raiders steps up and covers somebody.
The Offense Is Still a Big Question Mark
Everyone has been excited to see the Raiders new offense with Jason Campbell and Hue Jackson running the show. If you were expecting a fire work show, you were probably left disappointed.
Campbell did mention after the game that they kept the offense simple and didn't show all their tricks, but they looked like the Raiders of last year.
Their first two series ended in three and outs. The second one included a false start by Cornell Green, oh wait mean Langston Walker.
The Raiders offense will be better, but they didn't show much in their first game.
Darrius Heyward-Bey Was Nowhere
There is no doubt about it, Darrius Heyward-Bey looks a lot bigger and his new number makes him look like a different player.
His stats still look like the same guy as last year. I'm very optimistic about DHB and I feel he will be much improved, but after the Raiders press release about him becoming a Raider great, I at least expected a catch or two.
He's been doing well in practice, but fans need to see that in the game.
Louis Murphy Is Going Deep
Louis Murphy looked like he was the main target for Campbell. He was targeted twice on deep balls and once in a third down situation.
Murphy was a play maker last season as a rookie and he has the tools to become a major part of the offense this year.
He now has a quarterback that can deliver the ball on target.
Michael Bush Is For Real
Michael Bush averaged over four yards per carry against the Cowboys. Last year he was the only player to break the 100 yard mark.
Bush wasn't given the ball enough times last year for various reasons. This year the Raiders can't afford not to give him the ball.
He appears to be the real deal and is a bruising back who can run and catch. With Darren McFadden as his partner in the backfield the Raiders could be a top ten rushing attack.
The Attitude and Urgency Is There
The Raiders showed the attitude and urgency they needed to show in the first game. Campbell stayed in the game into the second quarter.
The Raiders went for it on fourth and one in the second quarter and chose to pass.
The defense was full of energy and was very stingy against the run.
The Raiders came out with the right energy and the starters played strong. The reserves also played strong and showed plenty of emotion after the win.
This team is headed in the right direction. The return of the Raiders Nation is in full swing.
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