Denarius Moore once had what looked to be a promising career with the Oakland Raiders but that promise never was realized. Last year he lost his starting role and this year he failed to even make the final roster for the Bengals being cut Monday.
Basically, he didn’t want it badly enough.
The scoreboard once the final whistle blew showed that the Oakland Raiders lost their third preseason game 30-23 against the Arizona Cardinals. But the score at half time was a better reflection on how the starters did and the Raiders where winning then – 15 to 3.
The starters on the Raider defense terrorized the Cardinals all night long. Former Raiders Palmer and Veldheer will be having nightmares for weeks following the abuse they took from Khalil Mack. It was enough to reduce Palmer to just eight completions on twenty two attempts and garnered Nate Allen two interceptions in the process.
Mario Edwards Jr walked away from the game with two sacks in a vastly improved performance from his first outing as a Raider. Malcolm Smith performed at a level that gives Sio Moore a serious challenge if he is to recover his starting role. Ben Heeney – after being the star of the last two games – looked more like the rookie he is last night. Taylor Mays should not feel say with Dowling having been cut if his performance last night is the only thing he is to be judged on, his thumping hit on TE Momah was great but Momah absorbed it and then charged downfield.
On offense the picture was a little different, Carr looked good at times but couldn’t seal the deal on any drive with a touchdown. Forcing the Raiders to settle for five field goals from Seabass (who – as the announcers pointed out – will be setting a record come opening day by having worked for ten different head coaches for his career).
The really bad, Menelik Watson is likely lost for the season with a ruptured a Achilles tendon. Watson had clearly won his position during camp but now will have to wait until the 2016 season to show if his promise was finally showing up on the field consistently.
Trent Richardson continued to show why two teams have so far given up on him. One rush he seemed to sidestep the gap and run right into the back of his offensive line man (need to rewatch the tape to ensure that was what I really saw) but did have one nice nineteen yard gain. Not nearly enough to earn a roster spot. He certainly is the player he used to be.
On a final note, Matt McGloin for my money looks to have won the backup quarterback role to date. Will be interesting to see the final depth chart to see if I’m right.
The Raiders parted ways with a player that looked to be on the rise this preseason – especially following the Vikings game where he had an interception. According to league sources however it was not his play that ended his tenure with the Raiders but his maturity level. Supposedly it wasn’t a single issue but a series of smaller ones that ended with the Raiders deciding to move on.
Dowling was drafted by the Raiders in the 7th round (247th overall) using the pick obtained via the trade of Terrelle Pryor to the Seattle Seahawks.
The third preseason game sees the Raiders face off against the Arizona Cardinals – a team that made the playoffs a year ago, only to depart in the first game to the Panthers.
What I want to see from this game:
- Fix the mistakes. After the first game it looked like the Del Rio era might bring to an end the Raiders being the perennial leader in penalties but come the second game they went right back to their old ways. Hopefully the Vikings game was an aberration and the Rams game was the norm. The Cardinals game should give us an indication if that is right.
- Sightings of Helu Jr, Rod Streator and Sio Moore. A positive sign of them being ready for week one action.
- Decent performances from our starters in what will probably be their longest outing this preseason.
- Everyone leaving the game healthy.
A win would be nice but some solid performances from the bubble players and signs that the starters are ready for week one is more important at this point.
For me there is a real feeling that this Raiders team is the one that will be turning the corner. That this Raiders team will be the one to restore the Pride and Poise of the Raiders.
From a defense that you feel moves with greater hussle and speed. One that is aware of what it needs to do and confident that it will achieve it. Or from an offense that suddenly looks to be loaded with weapons. Carr, Cooper, Crabtree, Murray and the pieces around them.
Orchestrating all this and bringing the team into a single focus of executing plays and holding the team accountable for their performances (or lack of in the case of the injured players) is Jack Del Rio. He – along with Ken Norton Jr – have continued to push the Raiders in the direction we only glimpsed in moments at the end of last season thanks to Tony Sparano.
I really feel this team is the start of something great for the Raiders. Hopefully a decade of winning to erase the painful memories of our last Superbowl appearance until now.
Air Raid (AllRaiders.com) has a new home. After ten years with the same hosting company we have moved on to a new host and hopefully the change in our address signals a change in direction for the Raiders.
The young Raiders we saw in the first preseason game certainly give you reason to hope that this will be the case. Cooper looked like he belonged and with Crabtree out there with him then maybe he won’t see double coverage as often as the Raiders #1 WR. One can hope.
Carr looks like he’s better after a first year getting used to the speed of the NFL. It certainly helps that the people around him are better at their jobs. Are Carr, Cooper and Murray our triplets? Can they have the success of the Dallas trio ? Time will tell but I’ve a feeling it’s going to be fun watching as their careers develop.