Oakland Raiders: First Team Defense Excels, Offense Does Not
The anticipation was mounting.
The Raiders fans have read about all this improvement of the offense. We've heard about Darrius Heyward-Bey.
Al Davis told us Jason Campbell was the next Jim Plunkett.
The concern about the Raiders was the offensive line.
Apparently it was opposite day, because nothing was what we expected.
DHB got only one target, and that was on the first play of the game.
I actually opened my eyes to see what Jason Cole was talking about. While Cole did have an agenda when he evaluated, he was correct in his evaluation.
Darrius ran a curl route, and Terrence Newman read it like he was reading the same book for years.
It was partly Campbell's fault for not looking off of DHB, but those are the catches he needs to make. And he needs to make them, against No. 1 corners.
Unfortunately, DB was not targeted the rest of the night. It was clear Campbell took a liking to Louis Murphy. I can't blame him either. Murphy had two opportunities to gain big yardage, and was just a smidgen off each time.
Campbell did nothing to prove his critics wrong. On his first third down, he had plenty of time to find someone, and threw to his check down receiver.
Were you impressed by the Raiders first team offense Thursday?
The Raiders only led one sustained drive, and that was against the Cowboys' second unit.
With exception to one mishap by Samson Satele, the line looked solid. Hue Jackson didn't run the ball many times, but looked okay running between the tackles.
Let me make it clear that this was only a preseason game, but the offense could have been much sharper than it was. Oh yeah, but when the most dynamic player on offense isn't in the lineup (McFadden), it takes away from the development of the offense.
The defense, on the other hand, looked sharp. The defensive line destroyed the Cowboys' first unit.
Both Matt Shaughnessy and rookie Lamarr Houston looked good. Both had two first-half sacks. Trevor Scott also had a couple of pressures.
Rolando McClain didn't make many plays, but didn't make any glaring mistakes, either.
Nnamdi was his terrific self as usual. On one play against Roy Williams, Nnamdi ran Williams' route extremely well. Romo was lucky Roy played some good defense, and Nnamdi didn't take that to the house for six.
One of the players that struggled was Tyvon Branch. Jason Witten beat him fairly on an out route.
The special teams looked decent. Long snapper Jon Condo was particularly impressive.
All in all, the Raiders first teams played well.
I'm expecting the rust to come off soon, as we get closer to the regular season.
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