Wow! What an emotional rollercoaster of a game. Here are some initial thoughts following the Las Vegas Raiders’ overtime win in Week 1.
Raiders offense looked rusty…
That first quarter was rough. The Raiders offense looked like a unit that was still figuring out how to play together. No doubt that Jon Gruden’s decision to sit most of the starting offense in preseason played a part. Even towards the end of the game, when the offense started producing, it wasn’t nearly as smooth as what we saw last season.
We saw miscommunications, drops, bad snaps, delay of game penalties, off-target passes. This was not the same unit we are used to seeing. It was weird to actually see them get bailed out by their defense for once. It will be interesting to see if the offense comes out sharper next weekend versus the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The defense is significantly better
The Raiders’ tenacious pass rush affected Lamar Jackson all game. *checks for flying pigs* I cannot believe I am writing that. Maxx Crosby looked borderline elite. This whole front seven is solid. It’s not perfect, but it’s much better. The same thing can be said regarding the secondary, except for Dallin Leavitt (he’s still bad). The caveat here, of course, is that they played a hobbled Baltimore offense. Also, there were still a few miscues. Nevertheless, this defense is no longer a doormat.
Too much Waller?
I did not think it was possible, but it turns out that you actually can feed Darren Waller too much. Part of the reason why the offense failed to get much going early on is that Derek Carr did not look at anyone other than Waller. 19 targets to one player is absurd and not sustainable.
*Top Photo: Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal