Oakland Raiders vs. New Orleans Saints Game Preview
So far, there has been glimpses of greatness from the Oakland Raiders throughout the preseason. Big plays have been made on both sides of the ball, but the question of consistency remains.
The Raider rookies have stepped up while some of the veterans have looked like it is their first time on the playing field.
Oakland plays the Saints tonight in their third preseason game. This game should be a big test for Oakland because the Saints are a championship-caliber team that is looking to get back to the top of the NFC Division. I am going to go over my top three things to watch for in tonight's game.
3) Raiders' Offensive Line vs. Saints' Defensive Line
The Raiders' offense hasn't shown consistency on the offensive line. The pass blocking has been anything but good, while the run blocking has been up and down for most of the preseason.
Given the fact that Oakland has been missing their top running back for the entire preseason, Raider Nation is looking for the offensive line to create some running room for Michael Bush. The pass blocking needs to show up tonight against New Orleans as well.
The Saints are one of the top teams in putting pressure on the quarterback. Campbell got roughed up last game and was getting forced out of the pocket due to constant pressure. Since the Saints are a very good team on defense, Oakland must be able to get consistent play from their offensive line. This is the key to Oakland's success on offense and putting up some points against the Saints tonight.
2) Oakland's Wide Receivers vs. the Saints' Cornerbacks
This is more of a fun matchup to watch during this game. Darrius Heyward-Bey has been looking pretty good and is poised to have a breakout year. Denarius Moore has emerged as a future stud for the Raiders as he amazes the Raider Nation catch after catch. Also, watch tight end David Ausberry tonight as he gains experience and looks to be a valuable player at the tight end spot.
If Oakland can get the running game going early, look for the play-action passes to be effective and watch the Raider receiving group do some damage to the Saints' defensive backfield.
1) Oakland's Defensive Backfield vs. the Saints' Wide Receivers
This is the biggest matchup to watch in tonight's game. The Saints have a very experienced receiving group led by Marques Colston. With the loss of Nnamdi Asomugha, the Raiders are hoping that Stanford Routt will step up and emerge as their No. 1 cornerback.
Demarcus Van Dyke is getting a lot of playing time this preseason due to injuries to corner back Chris Johnson. This is a very young secondary and it will be interesting to see what corner back tandems will be out on the field throughout the game.