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
5. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves
The biggest thing we need to take away from Friday’s game is to not get too far ahead of ourselves. Not only was it a preseason game, but it was the FIRST preseason game. We’ve maybe seen 10% of Bill Musgrave’s offense and the new defense ran only it’s most vanilla rush and coverage schemes. Most of the game was played by players who you might only see a handful of times in the regular season if at all, for both teams, and the Rams #1 unit was missing a few key contributors.
In other words, don’t get too excited or dismayed one way or the other. Derek Carr’s pick to kill a potential TD drive may have been an aggravating moment, but ultimately it will be a great learning opportunity for both he and Amari Cooper. The secondary may have looked out of its’ depth, but Norton and Del Rio will likely have the running dramatically different coverages when the games start to count.
One thing you can take away, even this early, is that the Raiders under Jack Del Rio’s regime are not the Raiders of a year ago. This is clearly a much more disciplined and enthusiastic football team that expects to come out and perform well. A preseason win helps reinforce these attitudes and the coaches’ message, which will help players buy in more fully as the regular season draws near.