Oakland Raiders: Team Shines in Preseason Win


Who really cares about preseason games? Most of them are pretty boring, and they don’t matter compared to the regular season schedule. In spite of this, the Oakland Raiders proved to the entire NFL that preseason games do matter.

On Friday, the Raiders defeated the St Louis Rams 18-3, and the Silver and Black looked great in their 2015 debut. For a number of reasons, this was one of the most exciting preseason football games in recent history. First, it’s always great to see the Oakland Raiders take the field in their classic home uniforms in front of the best fans in football. Furthermore, this preseason game set the stage for a good amount of debuts.

Everyone knows that preseasons games are meant as practice or scrimmages for the players. However, the players aren’t the only people on NFL teams that need practice. The coaches have just as much work and as many things to learn as the athletes on the field. The Oakland Raiders’ new head coach, Jack Del Rio, definitely had a productive coaching debut for the team.

I recently wrote about why Jack Del Rio is the perfect head coach for the Raiders, and he showed Raiders Nation that he’s the right person for the job.

The personality and style of coaching he brings to the Raiders is exactly what the players need. The new Oakland Raiders team featured great young talent in Derek Carr, Amari Cooper, and Khalil Mack. Del Rio knows how to properly utilize them. An interesting comment was made by commentators during the game that Del Rio is in charge of the team, but he wants the Raiders to be the players’ team.

To me, that means he wants the Raiders’ players to create a professional, committed culture for the team. Basically, Jack Del Rio is bringing back the “Commitment to Excellence” mentality in full force. He expects the talented Raiders to play clean, smart, and intense football in order to win more than three games this season.

Derek Carr and Amari Cooper will be leading that charge on offense, and both of them performed well for their first time together against an opposing team. In his preseason rookie debut, Cooper looked sharp and had three receptions for 22 yards in the first quarter. The Raiders did a great job of making sure Carr and Cooper made some productive connections during their limited time on the field.

More from Derek Carr

Carr will be the Raiders’ leader for years to come, and he showed us that he certainly isn’t a rookie anymore. As fans have come to expected based on the offense, Carr played cool, clean, and athletic football. The interception Carr threw may have been a misread on his part, but the Ram’s DB simply made a stellar play on the ball. Don’t let that interception make you lose hope for Carr’s success. Mistakes like that are supposed to happen in the preseason because it gives players a great opportunity to correct errors.

Another starter who had a great preseason performance was Latavius Murray. He’s expected to be the staring running back for the Oakland Raiders, and he displayed great speed, cuts, and balance between the tackles. It seems like the Raiders will use Murray’s size and speed to make him an effective runner on every part of the field. Of his performance, ESPN said:

"“Latavius Murray looks ready for prime time. Even though he has 82 career carries, the impressively built Murray, 6-foot-3 and 228 pounds, had 35 yards on six carries. Murray was explosive and ran with big authority. The Raiders may have something here.”"

Cooper, Carr, and Mack will definitely be key factors for this Raiders team, but Murray may have a surprising great performance this season.

The Oakland Raiders have great expectations for now and the future, and it doesn’t look like these players want to let Raiders’ fan down again.

Next: Jack Del Rio is the Perfect Hire