Generally speaking, the Las Vegas Raiders looked sharp in Canton. However, there were a few things that should be addressed moving forward. It goes without saying that the Silver and Black need to get a handle on all three of these.
What are three concerns for the Raiders as of today?
Las Vegas needs a tackle
With Kolton Miller resting, we got to see a lot of Brandon Parker and Alex Leatherwood. Parker got the start at left tackle since he is currently viewed by the coaching staff as the team’s second-best tackle behind Miller. He got bullied by rookie number one overall pick Travon Walker. He also showed once again that he cannot handle stunts.
Leatherwood didn’t look quite as bad, albeit against less competition since the guy that the Jaguars would normally have across from Walker, Josh Allen, didn’t play. Thayer Munford Jr. didn’t look bad either, but he was blocking guys even further down the Jacksonville depth chart.
There was nothing from the game this week that would make you feel good about the situation at right tackle. The thing that’s even more concerning is that the Raiders haven’t added one of the many capable tackles still on the market. If the team’s brass doesn’t wake up soon, it could get a special kind of ugly. The kind of ugly where Derek Carr might not make it through the season.
Raiders need to keep Derek Carr healthy
The backup quarterback job was supposedly up for grabs heading into training camp. Jarrett Stidham and Nick Mullens were the front-runners, with Chase Garbers as a longshot. After last night, the winner is clear. Stidham was the only one of the three that looked competent.
That being said, the former Patriot was far from spectacular. To call the drop-off from Carr to Stidham steep would be an understatement. It would probably be a more apt way to describe the drop-off from last year’s backup, Marcus Mariota. Bottom line, if Carr goes down this year, the season is over.
Josh Jacobs playing early in the preseason
We expected to see most, if not all, of the Raiders’ starters at some point in the preseason but seeing Jacobs this early was shocking. Clearly, the organization views him in a different light than the likes of Hunter Renfrow, Darren Waller, Maxx Crosby, and the litany of other guys who sat. Yes, Josh McDaniels said it was just about the importance of running backs getting carries. That is a load of malarkey. Former Pro Bowl-caliber running backs don’t play in the preseason opener.
Something is clearly up. Jacobs may be on the outs. Maybe the team was showcasing him to potential trade suitors. Even if it’s nothing, you’re still risking injury to a key player in a meaningless game. Whatever it is, it’s not good.
*Top Photo: Chris Unger/Getty Images