Oakland Raiders: Reasons To Be Excited And Concerned After First Game

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August 14, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper (89) runs with the football against the St. Louis Rams during the first quarter in a preseason NFL football game at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Excited – Raiders’ Passing Game

Talk about night and day. Last season, the Raiders had a less than imposing receiving corps With James Jones and Andre Holmes leading the way – thanks primarily to the injury to Rod Streater – the Raiders’ receivers were highly inconsistent, dropped a lot of balls, and at times, seemed incredibly out of synch with Carr.

What a difference an offseason makes. Reggie McKenzie and Jack Del Rio spent a great deal of time this offseason beefing up Oakland’s receiving group and making it a legitimate threat. With Streater returning from injury, the Raiders added veteran receiver and San Francisco 49ers castoff Michael Crabtree, and then picked up former Crimson Tide standout Amari Cooper in the draft.

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That group of receivers, combined with pass catching tight end Mychal Rivera, and rookie Clive Walford – as well as running back Roy Helu out of the backfield – has given the Raiders’ passing attack some real teeth this year.

No longer will Oakland’s passing attack be an afterthought as it is going to force defenses to really pay attention and make some plays or risk getting burned badly.

That rejuvenated passing attack was on full display against the Rams. Though most of the starters played limited snaps, the Raiders got Cooper involved straight away, running a number of designed plays for him. Cooper finished the night with three catches for 22 yards, as well as a three yard end around, showcasing the fact that Musgrave is going to be very creative with Oakland’s offense this year. Crabtree had a pair of receptions for 15 yards, and Walford had two catches for 28 yards.

But it was Oakland’s second and third team receivers who stepped up and made some plays for the Raiders. Brice Butler had a nice evening, hauling in six passes for 57 yards and a score, Seth Roberts had four receptions for 42 yards, Kris Durham had 26 yards on a pair of receptions.

Oakland’s passing game is going to be layered, nuanced, and explosive. And the offense as a whole is going to be far more effective and powerful than a Raiders offense has been in quite some time.

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