Pending: The Secondary
Most of us probably assumed the Raiders secondary would dominate. They added Pro Bowlers Reggie Nelson and Sean Smith, while they drafted Karl Joseph in the first round. This meant starters D.J. Hayden, T.J. Carrie and Nate Allen would all find roles as reserves.
Thus far, the secondary has been a mixed bag. In the first game, the reserves looked great and the starters played well in a small sample. Then, Green Bay and Tennessee showed flashes of good and bad.
Through three preseason games, Oakland ranks 15 in passing points per game with 19 and passing average. However, they also rank towards the bottom in completion percentage of opponents and yards. Some of this attributes to the Raiders pass rush.
Nonetheless, we gotta see what the secondary can do in a full game. Can they maintain a rhythm, create turnovers, and end long drives?
Oakland expects a lot from this group because they invested a ton. Either way, the jury is still out on the secondary that has played well but can still get better.
Honestly, these exhibitions really don’t matter for any of the key players. In the end, we will not really know the Raiders’ strengths or weaknesses until the games begin to matter in the regular season.
Still, I expect our great defensive coaches to get their unit playing closer to a strength than weakness very soon.
*Team stats via NFL.com.