After two games, the Oakland Raiders sit at 1-1. With that, you can start to form the inkling of an opinion about the team. Granted, nothing is set in stone. Yet, patterns form and primary thoughts exist. With that said, FPC writers Ray Aspuria and Terrance Biggs discuss their initial impressions of the roster.
After two games, what are your three takeaways?
The Raiders can impose their will on the opposition. See how they physically manhandled the Denver Broncos, namely with backup guards on the offensive line.
The Raiders will always have trouble with the Chiefs. No sugar coating it, Derek Carr is 2-9 in his Raider career against Kansas City with 14 touchdown throws to 11 interceptions. He’s also been sacked 30 times by Chiefs defenders in those 11 meetings. For comparison’s sake, Rich Gannon was 6-3 in his nine games as a Raider against KC.
Josh Jacobs needs the ball more — on the ground and through the air. The Raiders first-round rookie tailback showed the light work he got at Alabama is a boon for the Raiders as he can handle the workload. Cramps caused fewer snaps against the Chiefs, but if he’s able, he should be a 25-plus carry guy with at least 3 targets in the passing attack
The rush defense looks better than last year. Although the sample size is two games, the Raiders began suffocating the run. Unlike last year, an active attempt at run stopping seems to exist. Hankins, Hurst, and Mauro fly towards the ballcarrier. While Paul Guenther endured rightful critique, he needs praises for cobbling together a functional approach to halting the run game.
Keelan Doss needs to supplant Ryan Grant. In light of his terrible Sunday, filled with OPI and not much else. At this point in his career, Grant’s pluses and minuses are widely known. Conversely, the Raiders need to see what Doss can do in games. At this point, why Grant took 74 percent of the offensive stats remain a mystery.
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Arden Key remains missing. Tallying one tackle in two games, with 52 snaps does not merit consideration. Entering the season,. Key’s role as a situational pass rusher looked to help him. However, he’s not taking to the role. If Maxx Crosby continues to improve, will he command more snaps?
In essence, two games does not a season make. Yet, the Raiders need to tighten some areas up while continuing parts of the gameplan. With fourteen games remaining, the book is incomplete.