Analysis: Raiders Offense Shines, Downs Cards 33-26

QB, Receiver Play Show Growth; LBs Need Work

Scott Gulbransen
August 15, 2019 - 8:48 pm

Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Categories: 

Silver and Black Today
Star wide receiver Antonio Brown worked out before the game, and was in uniform, but didn’t play and still Raider Nation has to like what it saw in the team’s 33-26 win over Arizona on Thursday night.

Derek Carr saw live game action for the first time this season and did not disappoint in limited action. Carr, who played just one series and threw two passes, found Ryan Grant for a 13-yard touchdown strike, giving the Raiders a 7-0 lead after their opening drive.

Mike Glennon was next at quarterback for the Raiders and did all he could to keep his role as Carr’s backup. Glennon connected on two touchdown passes, including a 53-yard bomb in the first quarter to Rico Gafford to extend the Raiders lead to 17-0. He finished the night 11-of-14 for 175 yards and the two scores.

Nathan Peterman finished the game with a nice performance of his own. Peterman showed his athleticism, and Gruden called some college-like option plays for the mobile QB, ending the night 8-for-8 for 41 yards.

Josh Jacobs also made his debut with the Raiders, showing flashes of brilliance and why he was the highest running back taken in this past spring’s NFL Draft. Jacobs rattled off an eight-yard gain with a sharp cutback briefly highlighting a four-carry night gaining 21 yards.

The Raiders defense also continue to improve overall and was led by safety Lamarcus Joyner. Joyner notched a safety taking down Arizona’s Kyler Murray early in the game. Joyner’s presence is a large one for the Oakland defense and his leadership is elevating their defensive backfield.

The Wide Out “Problem”

In professional football, there is no such thing as too much depth. But, with roster cuts on the horizon, the Raiders have some tough decisions to make at the position. The team’s "problem" is that it won’t be able to keep them all.

Raiders quarterbacks threw to 14 different receivers against the Cardinals, showing the depth they have in potential pass catchers.

Feel-good story Kelan Doss, the undrafted free agent who grew up in Alameda and played at UC Davis, again made a statement; as did rookie Hunter Renfrow, new additions Tyrell Williams and Ryan Grant, and former practice squad player Rico Gafford. The competition at the position is undoubtedly responsible for the high level of play and Jon Gruden's staff will soon have to make those tough choices. In our view, Doss continues to solidify his hold on one of the coveted roster spots.

Defense is Key Again

Last week, I told Silver & Black listeners to tap the brakes over the excitement around the play of second year defensive end Arden Key. This week, I can admit when I am wrong and praise Key for a more complete game in Week 2 of the preseason. Key was not only making plays, he was around plays and he was consistent more so than he was last week. Key isn’t all the way there, but he is getting better each week.

Jonathan Abram, again, played well and top draft pick Clelin Ferrell is getting more and more comfortable in Paul Guenther's defense.

Linebackers Disappoint

To put it bluntly, the Raiders linebacking corps looked bad.

They looked slow, unprepared, and when Arizona succeeded on offense, much of it happened over their position on the field.

With Vontaze Burfict, Brandon Marshall, and Tahir Whitehead leading that unit, you would have expected more. Although Marshall did have a sack, Jason Cabinda and Marquell Lee and his veteran leaders all looked sluggish. Keep an eye on Week 3 as we expect this group to bounce back fast.

Green Bay Up Next in Great White North

The Raiders return to action next Thursday as they travel to Winnipeg to play Green Bay. On this week’s Silver and Black Today show Sunday from 8-9 a.m. (short show due to Dodgers baseball), Winnipeg Sun Canadian Football League columnist and writer Ted Lyman will be our guest.

He’ll talk about why the Raiders vs. Packers game has been a tough sell in the land of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Don’t forget to listen to our take on the outcome of the Raiders vs. Cardinals game on Silver and Black Today – Las Vegas’ ONLY all-Raiders sports show airing every Sunday from 8-10 a.m.  NOTE: This week, due to Dodgers baseball, Silver and Black Today will be heard for just one hour from 8-9 a.m.