On Friday, the Raiders kicked off their 2018 preseason with a six-point victory over the Lions. The team played like those weeks in Alameda began to irritate them. On both sides of the ball, the team looked quick. Unlike 2017, the Raiders played with passion, force and sustained effort. Yet, as in every game, not everyone played well. As a result, this edition of 3 Up, 3 Down
When the Raiders drafted the standout SHSU linemen, few knew about him. Yet, Hall’s measureables, production, and testing presented the Raiders with options. When he lines up on Friday, Hall began to show the fanbase. By using quick steps and a solid base, Hall wrecked the Lions gameplan. Although his one tackle, sack, and TFL may not jump off the page, the ability to get inside should.
Under previous coordinators, Connor Cook resembled a fourth-rounder. Media and fans alike doubted Jon Gruden’s effusive praise. After Derek Carr made a cameo, the Raiders allowed Cook to take the offense. The new version of Connor Cook possesses the ability to move the pocket. Additionally, Cook displayed touch and confidence. When he found Ryan Switzer in the end zone, you could feel the stadium buzz.
Due to a Kolton Miller penalty, Lynch did not register a single carry. Yet, if you watched the game, you saw differently. Lynch outran the Lions for a 60-yard touchdown. Lynch looked quicker and more explosive than he did last season.
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With Chris Warren’s 86 yards and DeAndre Washington averaging 5.3 yards, the pressure mounts for Richard. 2.6 yards a carry on five touches will not win a job.
The Secondary Tackling
When Lions rookie Kerryon Johnson broke free for a long gain, the Raiders secondary took awful pursuit angles, allowing Johnson to scamper. Luckily, for Oakland, the referees flagged Detroit for holding.
When the NFL instituted the new helmet rule, Karl Joseph jumped to mind. The rule makes a player lowering his helmet to make contact a 15-yard penalty. In Joseph’s defense, his play did not appear dirty. The rule contains too much wiggle room for interpretation. Joseph punishes ballcarriers. Now, he will need to alter his approach. While not dirty, the refs and league will look at anyone with the ability to thump opponents.
In essence, the Raiders won a game on Friday. More importantly, they learned about what works and what does not. In reality, they need to figure a few things out. As a result, each snap counts.