Defense could become the calling card of the Oakland Raiders moving forward. What are some other takeaways from the early preseason action?
Latavius Murray lurking in running back race
Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew were tabbed as early favorites to co-start for the Raiders at running back this season. While neither looked bad in their limited playing time in the opener, they may have company now vying for snaps come September. Second-year man Latavius Murray, who missed last season due to injury, flashed some of his considerable potential against Minnesota with 28 rushing yards on seven carries and two receptions for 13 more. His versatility is worth watching as the preseason develops.
Matt Schaub does little to shake history or Derek Carr
One of the biggest problems that haunted Matt Schaub when he played in Houston last season was his inefficiency. He struggled to keep the offense in rhythm and made too many mistakes. That is why he was traded. Going 3-of-7 for 21 yards is hardly the kind of statement Oakland fans were hoping for when he was annointed the starting job. Not only did he look little different from his 2013 self, he also wasn’t able to create any separation between him and rookie Derek Carr in one of the quiet quarterback battles of August football.
Dennis Allen may have something cooking on defense
Giving up ten points in four quarters and still losing is nothing to be ashamed about. Raiders head coach Dennis Allen can deal with the loss because he had a glimpse of what his defense could be in 2014. In addition to logging six sacks on the Vikings quarterbacks, they forced a fumble and allowed just 3.6 yards per offensive play for the game. If the pass turns out as good as it looked in that game, Allen definitely has his first piece to the puzzle in getting Oakland back into contention for the first time in 12 years.