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

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Aug 14, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders raiderette cheerleaders perform during the preseason NFL game against the St. Louis Rams at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In Conclusion
Yes, it was just one single, meaningless exhibition match up. But it was actually quite a lot more than that. It was important to get the Jack Del Rio era – and this new era of Raider football – off on the right foot. The players needed to see that all of their hard work meant something and that buying into what Del Rio is selling yields positive results.

Against the Rams, the Raiders dominated every facet of the game, no matter which unit was in. When the Rams got some offensive momentum going, the Raiders’ defense would stiffen. For an example, on the opening drive of the game, the Rams marched all the way down to Oakland’s 13 yard line and appeared poised to score. But the defense held and forced St. Louis to settle for a field goal.

Last year, that probably would have been a touchdown. But the Raiders are a better team, and the defense has the ability to make some stops and make some plays. Holding St. Louis out of the endzone – even in, or perhaps especially in, a meaningless exhibition, speaks volumes about where Del Rio and DC Ken Norton Jr. have this defense headed.

On offense, the Raiders looked crisp and sharp, and moved the ball well. Trent Richardson’s glaring gaffe notwithstanding, Oakland ran the ball well and passed it even better. Though he had a low yards per attempt average, Carr spread the ball around a little bit and the offense as a whole utilized their new array of weapons to great effect.

Though the team scored just two touchdowns, they most definitely look like they have the potential to score a lot more once the offense gets settled and the games begin to count.

It was just one meaningless exhibition game, but for the Raiders – and the Raider Nation – it was so much more.

Next: Team Shines In Preseason Win