The Raiders traveled to Minnesota on Thursday, after a morning walk through. No press conferences Thursday or media availability. The only person ruled out for Friday by Head Coach Dennis Allen was Mady, who turned an ankle a couple days ago. The game vs. the Vikings begins at 5pm pacific. If you are not able to watch it live on your local stations, it is scheduled to be shown on NFL Network at 9pm pacific. Here is what I’ll be watching for during the game.
Points. I want points. I’d expect the starting offense to see no more than two possessions. If they drive for a TD on the first, they won’t get a second. I want the drive(s) to be more runs than passes. I really want to see this line push some people around. I’m honestly going to be watching how MDJ looks running the ball. I read where he considered retirement this offseason, so I’m curious to see if his heart is in it. After the starters, it’s time to see how far along our 2nd round pick really is. Kory Sheets I think sticks with the team. I think he can have value as a gunner on punts and kickoffs. I’m anxious to see how he does from scrimmage. I really hope Latavius Murray gets 10 – 20 carries. The Vikings starting corners are Captain Munnerlyn, a 16 game starter for Carolina last year and Xavier Rhodes, the second year player from Florida St., who started 6 games for the Vikings last year. Although they present a respectable test for the Raider receivers, I will be concerned if they are not able to get open.
It sounds like we will see the complete starting Defense, save for DJ Haden, against the Vikings. I’m looking forward to it. We finally get to see what our first round pick can do. I don’t believe Adrian Peterson will play or Cordarrelle Patterson. Two of their four playmakers will be out and I would expect the Defense to win those battles. If the starting Defense doesn’t get at least one sack, I’ll be disappointed. As Coach Allen said, all these guys who have been stepping up in practice, it’s time to see them do the same things in a game.
Jano, put it thru the uprights!! Yes, we will all be looking to see if their is any funk leftover from last year. The Raiders don’t have a punt or kick returners. All these exhibition games will be auditions for the job, so I will be keeping an eye on all the returns. Anybody else think Marquette King looks like Eddie Griffin? It’s the overbite I tell ya! Anyway, Marquette has been working on his angle kicks, so hopefully we can see a few of those.
Here are some quick thoughts from Thursdays exhibition action:
- I didn’t recognize one name on the starting Dallas Cowboys defense. It was a who’s-who of Mr. Irrelevant
- The only way to beat the Broncos is to pressure Payton
- Kansas City is back to winning without any big plays from their offense
- San Diego’s defense can be pushed around at the line of scrimmage