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

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Aug 14, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; General view of the line of scrimmage as Oakland Raiders center Tony Bergstrom (70) prepares to snap the ball against the St. Louis Rams in a preseason NFL football game at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Excited – Offensive Line

The offensive line – most specifically the right side of that line – has been a big question mark and source of consternation for many people all offseason long. There have been countless articles detailing just how screwed Oakland is because they are being forced to use some combination of Menelik Watson, Austin Howard, Kalif Barnes, and J’Marcus Webb on the right side of the line – the left side is locked down with center Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson at guard and Donald Penn at tackle.

Many wondered aloud if the Raiders’ offensive line was going to be able to keep Carr upright and conscious, and if so, whether or not they’d be able to effectively block in the run game.

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  • Against the Rams, Oakland’s offensive line seemed to take a giant step toward answering those questions and any others anybody wanted to toss their way. Not only did the offensive line mange to run block well enough for the Raiders to go over the century mark for the game – a yardage total seldom seen in 2014 – but they didn’t give up a single sack the whole game.

    The line was maligned much of last season, but the fact of the matter is that Oakland was one of the least sacked teams in the league. Carr, for the most part, was kept pretty clean. Their Achille’s Heel though, was run blocking, which last year’s unit didn’t do very effectively.

    But based on the very early returns, it looks like Oakland’s line is going to be good in pass blocking as well as run blocking. This group has the ability to blow open some huge holes for the Raiders’ running backs – now if they can just get the backs to actually hit those holes rather than run straight into a pile, they’ll be on to something.

    Next: Concerned: Is This Finally The Year?