After what always seems like an eternity to wait, football season is upon us once more. The Oakland Raiders made their preseason debut on the road against the Minnesota Vikings and like with all preseason games – there was some good, and there was some bad.
Here are some takeaways from the game…
1. The QB battle
The most important position battle of the offseason is undoubtedly that of Matt Schaub vs. Derek Carr, mostly because of the importance of the position. Schaub is likely to get the starting gig week one, barring any type of injury, but Carr showed in his first taste of NFL action that he could play.
The difference in arm talent between the two is the first thing I noticed while watching the game. It could be because of Schaub’s age, but regardless, he never had the type of arm strength that Carr showed on several of his throws.
Carr has impressive zip on this throws and showed that he is able to connect on perhaps the most important throw in a QB’s repertoire, the 15-yard out route.
The biggest area of concern I had with Carr throughout the draft process was his sloppy footwork and tendency to throw off his back foot too often, but he seemed to have already cleaned most of that up. Still, he did have a couple of throws go high and a couple more had nice zip, but were behind the intended receiver.
All in all, I was impressed with Carr’s performance. If not for a few drops, his stat line (10-16, 74yds, 1 INT) would have looked much better. If he can put together an even better outing in the next couple of preseason games when the playbook gets opened up a bit, he’ll put pressure on the coaching staff to get him in during the regular season sooner than later.
As far as Schaub goes, he was a bit underwhelming. He’s had the same amount of time to learn this playbook as Carr and you would think he’d be able to grasp the playbook quicker than Carr thanks to his experience, but that doesn’t seem like it was the case tonight. He also had several under throws and a particularly bad throw during his first series, which should have been intercepted.