Raiders Ray-Dar: Quick Slants from Preseason Week 2

No one would blame Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio for Pleading the Fifth after another bonehead defensive performance this past Saturday.

“Things that we’ve talked about for too long, in terms of communication errors and eye violations, just keep us from being a good defense,” Del Rio said postgame.

In front of a raucous home crowd at Coliseum, the Oakland Raiders laid another egg defensively as it was cut up by the Los Angeles Rams.

The eyebrow-raising performance by the defense is not the only thing we can glean from Week 2 of preseason play.

To the Quick Slants we go!

  • Derek Carr looked far from a player recovering from a season-ending injury. He was throwing darts and heaved a high-arching beauty of a dime to Amari Cooper who high-pointed the ball.
  • The AC/DC Connection appears set to leave opponents Thunderstruck this season.
  • Marshawn Lynch’s first two carries as a Raider got the crowd to its feet. He churned out 10 yards on those two carries and shared a laugh with Del Rio on the sideline before he was done for the night.
  • Lee Smith displayed soft hands by snagging a bullet from Carr for the Raiders first touchdown of the night. That 19-yard laser from Carr to Smith was pretty. More dimes to the block-first tight end, please!
  • Khalil Mack is a boss. He rampaged through two tight ends to smash Rams’ QB Jared Goff for the sack. Oh, and he was held quite a bit, a blatant hold occurring on Goff’s pass to tight end Gerald Everett.
  • Marquel Lee was made to look like a fool by Everett. The fifth-round pick continues to struggle in coverage. Del Rio did have positive things to say about Lee in terms of defending the run (Lee’s supposed strength).
  • T.J. Carrie was dazed and confused by slippery Rams rookie wide receiver Cooper Kupp. But don’t be too hard on Carrie, Kupp is deceptively quick and knows how to get open.
  • Shalom Luani continues to show he can transition his nose for the ball in college to the pros. Does that merit some first-team consideration? Why not. Coaches already know what they have in veteran Reggie Nelson. “Sink or swim in Week 3 rook!” is what the coaches should say to Luani.
  • Marshall Newhouse held his own against the Rams. He helped give Carr the time to heave one to Cooper downfield.
  • Marquette King is a weapon. We saw some booming punts on Saturday. Field position is critical in the NFL and if King can pin teams inside the 20, that’s going to be big.
  • Connor Cook and E.J. Manuel are most likely tied in the race for the backup spot at QB. Cook looked good in Week 2, Manuel solid in Week 1.

Quote(s) of Note:

“I thought he played better than EJ. I don’t think either one of them was quite as sharp as the first night.” — Jack Del Rio on the QBs Connor Cook and E.J. Manuel

“We’ll let him battle what legal issues he has. I think you heard the story. He was defending his sister. Things occurred that were taken issue with so he’s having to defend himself.” — Jack Del Rio on cornerback Sean Smith’s situation

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