One 2014 Oakland Raiders Preseason game is in the bag. Live scrimmages between the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys will occur this coming week, and the dress rehearsal for the first team offense/defense doesn’t happen until the third Preseason game. So, at this point, there’s really nothing to worry about despite the 10-6 loss at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings on Friday night.
I watched the game with high hopes like all of Raider Nation, and I saw the dropped footballs, errant throws, missed assignments, some confusion, and oh yeah, the penalties. Truth be told, the biggest thing that killed a victory for the Raiders were the penalties. Still, I watched other preseason games and saw other teams making the same August mistakes. I’m talking about the teams that the NFL thinks will be contenders (Denver, Seattle, Detroit, Green Bay, Atlanta, San Francisco, etc…).
This is what the preseason is folks. It’s where a team shakes the cob-webs out and fixes the stupid mistakes. It’s where Rookies get their first taste of real game situations. Some handle it well, while others not so much. It’s where the records don’t matter. I don’t care if we win or lose in the preseason, I’m looking for improvements.
As a matter of fact, I can recall one year the Jacksonville Jaguars won all four preseason games on their way to becoming the worst team in the league that year with a 4-12 record. It’s not about wins and losses in preseason, it’s about game time situations, going against other teams, making and fixing mistakes, and allowing offenses and defenses to start gelling together.
So now that my statement about preseason is out of the way, here’s what I saw when I watched the game for a second and third time to evaluate not only the mistakes but the positives as well.