Observation Deck: Oakland Raiders
August, 22, 2014
By Bill Williamson | ESPN.com
It was a difficult night for the Oakland Raiders. They were handled on the field and suffered three injuries to defensive starters.
Second-year linebacker Sio Moore had to be taken off on a stretcher with a neck injury. The team hopes it was just precautionary. He was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation.
Fellow linebacker Nick Roach and cornerback Tarell Brown departed with concussions. There is no word on if any of these injuries will carry over to the regular-season opener at the New York Jets in 16 days.
Here are some other thoughts on the Raiders' (1-2) third preseason game of the year, a 31-21 loss to the Packers:
- New Oakland starting quarterback Matt Schaub was less than impressive for the third straight preseason game. The Raiders are hoping Schaub can have a resurgence after a disastrous final season in Houston, but Schaub’s lack of arm strength and lack of pocket presence have been issues thus far. He completed 13 of 27 passes for 110 yards and he lost a fumble. Oakland coach Dennis Allen said at halftime that the Raiders must improve in the passing game. This outcome will not do anything to cool speculation that second-round pick Derek Carr could be in line to start sooner than later. Third-string quarterback Matt McGloin, who started six games last season as an undrafted rookie, looked good again in late action.
- Rookie linebacker Khalil Mack, the No. 5 overall pick in the draft, didn’t make much of an impact in the first two preseason games. But he had a strong game Friday night, grabbing an interception at the line of scrimmage against second-string quarterback Matt Flynn while also displaying a lot of pressure. Allen said this week he thinks Mack will make an immediate impact and he showed signs Friday night.
- Veteran running back Maurice Jones-Drew gave the Raiders a glimpse of what they hope to see a lot. The former Jacksonville star, whom the Raiders signed in the offseason, bolted for a 40-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Jones-Drew said he feels refreshed. This run shows he still has something left in the tank. The Raiders could be in business if he can do the same a few times in the regular season.
- Rookie cornerback TJ Carrie was beaten by standout Green Bay receiver Jordy Nelson on a short fourth-down play for a touchdown early in the second quarter. On the previous play, Carrie, a seventh-round pick, knocked a potential touchdown away from Nelson. Carrie has looked good this summer and he has a chance to be part of the regular-season rotation. The quality work against Nelson should help.
- Standout fullback Marcel Reece, who has been dealing with a foot injury, saw some action. He was wearing a walking boot Wednesday. The fact that he played in a preseason game indicates the team thinks the injury is of little concern.