After opening the 2022 preseason in historic Canton Ohio, the Raiders returned home this week to host the Minnesota Vikings. After forcing a punt on the first series the offense took the field. Despite converting a couple of 3rd downs the drive stalled and the 15 play drive only produced a Carlson field goal. The first quarter was all Raiders while Minnesota dominated the second. In a quickly moving game the second half featured multiple scores with the final score being Las Vegas 26 and Minnesota 20. Here is what stood out from Sunday afternoons game at Allegiant Stadium in my Raiders preseason game 2 review.
Offense Starts Fast
For the second straight week the Raiders scored on the opening drive. This week it was a balanced 15 play opening drive that ended with a Carlson field goal. Eventually, these drives need to end with a TD. However, the team starting fast and not committing penalties has been shown in both preseason games. The penalty issue is one of the most pleasant surprises of camp. The Raiders had only 3 for 25 at the half while Minnesota had 7 for 66. With the offensive line still finding the starting group it’s a great sign that no matter who is in there the team is not committing unnecessary pre-snap penalties. A focal point for McDaniels is not beating themselves and early on the results are showing.
The Raiders backup QB showed that he is firmly in control of the offense. Quick decisive decisions were once again on display. Stidham lead 2 scoring drives on the first two possessions. The surprise from Jarrett this preseason is the ability he has to make plays with his legs. He ran his second touchdown in as many weeks. Just as important was his ability to manipulate the pocket and extend drives. With an unsettled offensive line Stidham continues to make plays. Jarrett has been fun to watch this preseason and his play has eased the concern about the backup QB position.
The second year speedster flashed a few times on Sunday. The first was his 34 yard TD. Turner caught the ball and blazed up the sideline for a quick score. He finished with 3 receptions for 58 yds and a TD. Turner also added a 26 yd punt that almost broke the distance. His speed makes him an intriguing candidate to earn on of the final WR spots. The more Turner can do the better his shot. He is clearly dynamic and has the speed coaches love now, it’s about stringing together games making plays.
3rd Down Defense
The Raiders were able to get off the field with solid stops on 3rd downs. The Vikings were 1-7 on third down Sunday. Patrick Graham is trying a few different looks with his new defense and the results are looking promising so far. Malcolm Koonce was flying around getting a sack and creating pressure. He seems locked in as the 3rd edge rusher and had shown improvement each week in the preseason. The Raiders are going to need to make huge 3rd down stops all year with a brutal schedule and division. Building the foundation of a solid 3rd down and red zone defense now will help the team steal a win or two during the season.
The Raiders were victorious for the second time this preseason. More importantly they looked sharp again on offense for the second straight week. The running attack continues to show improvement and multiple backs are having success. This week it was rookie Brittain Brown getting the majority of the second half carries as the team drained the clock. The success of the young backs combined with the continued development of the rookie offensive lineman is huge. The Raiders are going to add a powerful rushing attack with a potent passing game to create multiple ways to win.
The Raiders move to 2-0 in the preseason this year and will travel to Miami next Saturday. Thanks for your time reading my article and for more Raiders talk follow me on Twitter http://@BrianRobert85 and check out my previous articles.
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