MINNEAPOLIS -– Before we swill curdled milk that was the Raiders exhibition opener, let’s get some preseason clichés out of the way.
These games mean nothing. It was the first time for a revamped roster playing live football together. The starters played too small a sample size to accurately judge their progress. There’s a lot of time to get things right and play well when games actually count.
You’ll certainly hear some of that logic in postgame comments. In many respects, the reasoning is sound.
It doesn’t negate a simple fact: The Raiders played poorly in a 10-6 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in front of 51,752 at TCF Bank Stadium.
At times they were average. At others, they were awful.
There were too many drops. Way, way, way too many penalties. Far too much soft coverage in the secondary.
The Raiders seemed to progress well through the early portions of training camp, but Friday’s loss proves they have significant work left to do.
That includes the basics.
While there were positive takeaways trapped in this mess, they were swallowed by an overall inability to produce offensively or keep an opponent from moving downfield.
The Raiders have three more games and nearly a month’s practice before things matter, when they must play far better than this.
Penalty killers: The Raiders had a poor relationship with the referees in the first half. They just kept getting in trouble. The offensive line and secondary in particular struggled to play clean, but the whole team was flagged six times for 44 yards in the opening quarters, which were manned by personnel expected to play in the regular season.
For starters: The starting offense and defense struggled mightily against the Vikings. While there were mistakes all around, penalties and drops were particularly painful. They negated some quality execution, which was generally lacking in the first place.
Tight end Mychal Rivera had two drops, right tackle Menelik Watson had a false start and allowed a sack and cornerback Tarell Brown was beaten twice and flagged for defensive holding.
There's more to read in link above, but this is gist of it. It was ugly and no other way to put it. yes I KNOW this is preseason, but uggggh it looked really ugly and in years past when we've seen this it's usually a good indication they got a long way to go and a short time to get there to look like a cohesive unit on offense and defense. Hope fully the next 3 games we start to see HUGE improvement or this is gonna be a long ass season.....AGAIN!!!!