Saturday, August 24, 2013
Raiders have a long way to go
By Bill Williamson
Here are some non-Terrelle Pryor thoughts on Oakland’s 34-26 home loss to Chicago on Friday:
Oakland clearly has a lot of problems. Its first team was totally manhandled in back-to-back games against the Saints and the Bears. Like last week, Oakland was outclassed on both sides of the ball against the Bears. It was a total domination as Chicago led 27-0 in the second quarter. Last week, New Orleans led Oakland 17-0 in the first quarter.
I’ve always maintained that the preseason means little. But we would be na´ve if we didn't look at these lopsided games as a sign of things to come. Oakland is thin on paper, and is playing on the field that way. That type of first-team failure is difficult to deny. Again, it’s not panic time until the games start counting, but does Oakland really look prepared to compete at Indianapolis in 15 days?
Some other thoughts:
- I think it is particularly worrisome that Oakland is getting dominated when it is oná defense. This wasn’t expected to be a high-caliber defense by any stretch, but it was supposed to be better, especially in the back seven. Thus far, the first-unit defense looks overmatched. Again, it doesn’t matter in the preseason, but the Raiders need to get it in gear.
- Fourth-round pick Tyler Wilson, a quarterback, is becoming a non-factor in Oakland. He didn’t play. Undrafted rookie Matt McGloin continued to work with the third-string. McGloin has thrown bad interceptions in the past two games, but, unlike Wilson, at least he’s getting a chance to play. Whether or not Oakland keeps Wilson will be a big storyline when the 53-man roster is determined in seven days.
- The race between punters Chris Kluwe and Marquette King continues to be close. I get the feeling Oakland could give King the job based on potential, because he has improved his consistency.
- Receiver Rod Streater suffered a head injury. It is not known how long he will be out.
- Seventh-round pick, receiver Brice Butler, a standout in the first half of the preseason, did not have a catch Friday night.
- None of Oakland’s tight ends separated themselves in the race to be the starter.
- One of Oakland’s biggest questions, the pass-rush, continues to be an issue. The Raiders didn’t have any sacks against Chicago.
- Rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden, The No. 12 overall draft pick in April, looked so-so in his debut. He was lost sometimes, and he competed at other times. The most important thing is, he is healthy. It was his first game since having life-threatening heart surgery last November.
- Returner Josh Cribbs is likely on the bubble. Oakland might have trouble finding a way to keep him.