Photo Credit: Sportsmanias.com
The Oakland Raiders played their first game on Friday, August 12th. They played the Arizona Cardinals to start off the preseason. The Raiders took their first win of the season. Sadly, Oakland hasn’t had a good team in a long time, however Raider fans may have something to look forward to.
The Raiders beat the Cardinals by a score of 31-10. Now of course, it’s just the first game of preseason, so the first string teams hardly played. But the Raiders’ whole team looked good. The offensive line gave quarterbacks Derek Carr, Matt McGloin, and Connor Cook plenty of time in the pocket. New stars, like running back George Atkinson and wide receiver Amari Cooper, and older stars like Micheal Crabtree can lead the offense. This season, you should see a bigger passing game for the Raiders.
The last couple of years, other teams would just stack a safety over the Raiders’ best wide receiver in the game. Now that the Raiders have more than one key receiver on the roster, it can make it a challenge for defenses to cover all of them without leaving someone 1 on 1. In the game against the Cardinals, the Raiders ran the same play more than a couple of times, and it seemed to work each time. They would find a wide receiver that was in single coverage and had no safety over the top to protect him. The Raiders’ receiver beat the corner off the first step, and the ball was just lobbed up to him.
The Raiders’ defense had a good first game on Friday as well. The defense made the Cardinals commit 3 turnovers, including 1 fumble and 2 interceptions. Even with the loss of Justin Tuck and Charles Woodson, the Raiders were able to fill the holes of their defense this offseason. If the Raiders can stay healthy throughout the year and keep their penalties to a minimum, they may be the best team to give the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos a challenge in the AFC West.