During the Raiders/Lions game, Oakland played well enough. With the eyes of the fanbase locked on O.co, the Raiders began their second voyage with Jon Gruden. Granted, a 16-10 score looks great. However, points aside, the game provided a myriad of numbers to digest.
Rookie kicker Eddy Pineiro connected on all three of his kicks. In addition, Pineiro did boot a 48-yarder. While his leg does not possess the same strength as Sebastian Janikowski that will prevent Jon Gruden from trying a foolish 65-yard try. Accuracy and just enough leg around 50 will pay off.
The Raiders did not surrender one sack during the game. Now, sacks allowed could be a tricky stat. Yet, watching the game, the line played well. Under Tom Cable, the line looks to rely on the interior power and hope the young talents flourish. Although Kolton Miller’s hold negated a 60-yard touchdown run, he acquitted himself quite well. For the remainder of his twelve total snaps, the rookie held up well. In the AFC West, holding up will not be enough. Miller must continue to improve.
Reserve guard Denver Kirkland played 91 percent of the snaps for the Raiders. More importantly, Kirkland played well. Not to mention, the Raiders need quality depth and a glut of linemen sit in camp. In that case, Kirkland could slowly carve himself out a roster spot. Also, playing pretty much the entire game allowed Kirkland to display his skills and improvement.
The penalties were not of the egregious style. Yet, nine remains too many. On the other hand, a few of these calls were mysterious and did not fall under the definition of flag-worthy. With that said, the needs attention.
The Raiders dropped the Lions’ quarterbacks four times. Not to mention, the countless times the pass rush pressured Detroit. For years, Khalil Mack provided the only serious rush. Also, teams would double him and help would never arrive. Now, Reggie McKenzie and Jon Gruden invested draft picks and free agent money into signing line help. Early on, the drafting of PJ Hall and Maurice Hurst looks rather intelligent.
As mentioned, preseason scores and stats mean little. Yet, the win on Friday provided us with the glimpse. In contrast, a win feels right.