August 14, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders wide receiver Andre Holmes (18) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the St. Louis Rams during the second quarter in a preseason NFL football game at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Oakland Raiders football returned to the Coliseum on Friday night and those who filled the Black Hole on an August night were rewarded from a strong start to the Jack Del Rio era in a dominating performance over the St, Louis Rams. The Raiders controlling play from the opening kickoff to the final whistle in what was a 18-3 win that could have been considerably more lopsided last night.
Save for a Rams field goal on the opening drive of the game, defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.’s new defensive schemes snuffed out a team that beat the Raiders soundly during the regular season last year. Each of the quarterbacks used by the Rams on Friday all put under heavy pressure that allowed the Oakland defense to make plenty of stops early and often in a game where they only allowed three points on the night.
On offense Bill Musgrave’s new scheme looked equally as promising as the defense as all three Raiders quarterbacks moved the ball down the field at ease. Matt McGloin and Christian Ponder both throwing touchdown passes while Derek Carr drove the ball into scoring territory twice in the first quarter with the first team. An exciting mix of creative running and passing plays contributing to the Raiders dominance over the Rams in the 18-3 victory.
At the end of the day last night’s performance was a first step in four preseason games to prepare this team for a season where they are trying to defy expectations to become a contender for the playoffs for the first time in years. The fact it was a promising one with a new coaching staff and a new look roster has positivity at a high in Oakland as the faith in Jack Del Rio’s vision continues to build in the early stages of the 2015 season. Beating a team handidly that crushed you last season will do that, and after seeing plenty of good things in the four quarters played on Friday fans should be excited because this is as good as the team has looked in the preseason for a long time.
After a night of positivity at the Coliseum, here are my notes and thoughts on the 18-3 Preseason Week 1 performance from the Raiders on Friday evening.
Next: Game Notes: Carr Given Keys to Improved Offense