offensive showing in the preseason opener was less than stellar. More firepower is needed, and the Oakland Raiders should get it from Jermichael Finley.
Matt Schaub and quarterbacks found tight ends just twice in Minnesota
In the modern NFL of today, having productive tight ends can mean the difference between two and three dimensional offensive production. For the past few years the Raiders have made due with less-than-stellar players at the position and it was on display again in Minnesota.
Of the 41 passes thrown in the game by Matt Schaub and the other quarterbacks, only two connected with tight ends for 15 total yards. The Vikings managed to double both amounts in the game (four catches for 54 yards) despite throwing just 26 passes all night. One of those completions was on the only touchdown drive of the game.
Having a dynamic tight end doesn’t make or break the offense, but it does make life infinitely easier for the quarterback.
That is why Oakland must seriously consider trying to upgrade the position. Their current depth chart inspires little more than potential rather than production. David Ausberry, the current starter on the depth, is coming off knee surgery and has made nine total catches in three years as a pro. His primary backup Mychal Rivera started for the team last year and finished with a modest 407 yards and four touchdowns.
An upgrade is clearly needed and Jermichael Finley could be the answer. The 27-year old free agent had tremendous success up in Green Bay, topping 660 receiving yards three times despite playing in an offense that features the wide receivers. His athleticism and explosiveness are very evident on tape. The only concern at present is the overall health of his neck, which he injured last season. If it checks out with doctors, is he worth the risk?
Based on what the Raiders saw in Minnesota, that answer isn’t hard.