The Oakland Raiders won their second preseason game of the year but it wasn’t pretty. The first team offense was unable to get much going and the first team defense allowed Matthew Stafford and crew march up and down the field on them. Once the starters were out of the game, the second and third stringers for the Raiders began a comeback that eventually led to a winning drive at the very end of the game.
But wins and losses in the preseason simply do not matter. The only thing that matters is what you can take away from the game in terms of quality of play, not win loss record. One of the biggest takeaways from the game on Friday was that the secondary is a cause for concern for the Raiders.
With D.J. Hayden out with an injury, everyone knew the depth at corner for the Raiders was questionable. But regardless of that, the starting duo of Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown were supposed to be an upgrade over last season’s Mike Jenkins and Tracy Porter. So far, they are not looking like a whole lot of an upgrade
Brown in particular has been a disappointment. While many believed that Rogers may be washed up and is really only useful as a nickel corner (myself included), Brown did not carry that label. In fact, when the Raiders were able to land Brown, it was seen as somewhat of a coup since many expected he would re-sign with the Niners. And given the fact that the Raiders offered him a multi year deal and he chose to take a one year deal means he too believed he would be playing much better than he is right now.
Brown was burned badly and humiliated by Golden Tate who was able to walk into the end zone after fooling Brown on a double move. That was the start of what was an easy day for Matt Stafford as he picked the Raiders secondary apart. Clearly, the Lions have one of the better passing games in the league, but they were playing without Calvin Johnson and did not miss him. Bad sign for the Raiders corners.
The Raiders were also unable to put much pressure on the quarterback and as a result, Stafford had a good amount of time to survey the field. The hope remains that once the season starts and the Raiders unveil their full playbook, there will be an abundance of pressure on the quarterback which will help take pressure off of the corners.
No matter how it gets done, whether due to more pressure on the quarterback or simply a step up in the level of play at corner, the Raiders need to improve their pass defense and by a lot if they hope to win many games this season.