Oakland Raiders: Many Silver Linings In Loss To Arizona

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 12: Derek Carr
GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 12: Derek Carr /
6 of 6
Oakland Raiders
GLENDALE, AZ – AUGUST 12: Running back John Crockett /

While the Raiders’ offense was largely pedestrian throughout the game in Arizona, the defense had many more encouraging moments than what might first meet the eye.

Upon closer inspection, we saw defensive linemen provide a push at the point of attack. Linebackers fought off blocks and shot out of cannons when given the chance to blitz.

Oakland Raiders
GLENDALE, AZ – AUGUST 12: Running back DeAndre Washington /

Safeties laid punishing hits on the opposing runners and attacked the ball in the air. And we saw meaningful special teams contributions from players looking to fill the void left by significant offseason departures.

Preseason performances are difficult to evaluate. Veterans are still shaking off the rust from the offseason, rookies are getting a quick and brutal introduction to the NFL, and chemistry between players has often yet to form. This is why we must take seemingly disappointing outcomes with the proverbial grain of salt.

What is more important than the final score is how backups respond to the pressure of earning a roster spot. Are they disciplined in their assignments? Do they avoid catastrophic mistakes? Are they translating their athletic potential to a game situation?

For the most part, the answer to these questions was – yes.

Next: Romanowski Off The Mark In Comments About Smith

If any Super Bowl-aspiring team wants to make good on those aspirations, they must have quality depth. These preseason games are a window into how deep the Raiders’ roster really is.

And many of the players mentioned in this article could ultimately be one play away from seeing the field in the regular season. So, while the first game was disappointing in its final score, it was far from discouraging in the individual performances of many Raiders’ backups.