Oakland Raiders: The good, bad, and ugly in preseason win over the Lions

Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images /
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Oakland Raiders
OAKLAND, CA – NOVEMBER 26: Lee Smith #86 of the Oakland Raiders reacts after a first down against the Denver Broncos during their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on November 26, 2017 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images) /

Good and Bad: Third Down Conversions

Last season was a bit of a mixed bag on third downs for the Raiders. On offense, they weren’t – horrible. They were eleventh in the league, clocking in with a third down conversion percentage of 40.2 – 82 conversions in 204 attempts.

While not bad on its face, that percentage could stand to be a little bit better. After all, there’s always room for improvement, right?

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  • The game against the Lions didn’t show them taking a step toward that improvement though. Against Detroit, Oakland’s third down conversion rate was a woeful 30 percent. For the game, they converted three of ten total third down attempts.

    Yeah, it’s the first preseason game, so we should expect a few hiccups along the way. But, to give themselves a chance to succeed this year, the Raiders are going to need to find a way to keep the chains moving. They’ll need to be able to grind out the tough first down and stay on the field, giving their defense a break.

    On the defensive side of the ball, the Raiders ranked near the bottom of the league – twenty-sixth overall, if you’re scoring at home – in defensive third down conversion rate. They gave up third downs at a 40.9 percent clip – allowing teams to convert 88 of a possible 215 attempts.

    Against the Lions though, Oakland’s defense held it down, limiting Detroit to just three conversions on 14 attempts – or 21 percent for the game.

    Again, it’s the first game of the preseason, and you can’t really read too much into things just yet. It takes a little bit to set patterns and tendencies. But, if Oakland’s defense can get that kind of effort throughout the season, they’ll be able to get their own defense off the field, and give the ball to an offense that could, and should, be electric.

    And that could go a long way toward righting a ship that foundered badly in 2017.