Oakland Raiders: Keys To Victory Over The Cincinnati Bengals

3 of 9

August 30, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders wide receiver Kris Durham (83) is congratulated by running back George Atkinson (34) for catching a touchdown pass during the fourth quarter in a preseason NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals at O.co Coliseum. The Cardinals defeated the Raiders 30-23. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Red Zone Offense MUST Be Better

Oakland did a lot of things really well over the course of the preseason. Unfortunately, putting points on the board while in the red zone was not one of them.

Obviously, when your starting unit is playing so sporadically and infrequently, it’s difficult to gauge just how effective the team’s top unit is going to be once the lights come up and the show starts for real. But the preseason does give us a glimpse of what it might look like.

More from Golden Gate Sports

And suffice it to say, Oakland’s red zone offense over the course of the preseason left a lot to be desired.

When a stat flashed in a game recap shows that Derek Carr led the first team offense on four scoring drives in his time on the field against the Cardinals, you might be tempted to think that’s pretty great. What that stat doesn’t tell you however, is that those four scoring drives all ended in field goals.

While points are points of course, the Raiders are going to have to do a lot better than hanging threes on the scoreboard all night if they hope to win some games in 2015.

Over the four exhibition games, the Raiders converted six of 14 chances in the red zone. It’s a less than stellar percentage to begin with, but it seems even worse when the Raiders scored just seven touchdowns in the four games, and hit on nine out of ten field goals.

With an array of new weapons like Roy Helu, Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, Lee Smith, and Clive Walford and veterans like Rod Streater, Marcel Reece, Latavius Murray, Brice Butler, and Andre Holmes, Oakland is most definitely not lacking for choices in finding a path into the endzone.

Now they just need to do a better job of utilizing those weapons to their fullest extent. It is critical to the team’s offensive success.

Next: It's Make or Break Time