With the Detroit Lions set to take on the Oakland Raiders tonight in preseason game number two, I got together with Just Blog Baby‘s Chase Ruttig for a Q&A.
Here are my questions followed by Chase’s answers.
1. What did you see that you liked and didn’t like in the Raiders’ first preseason game?
"Week One of the preseason for the Raiders was a tale of one quarter of the game being disappointing and the rest of the game being a standard performance for a preseason debut. Unfortunately for Oakland that quarter that was a letdown was the first quarter, when the defense looked poor in coverage and Matt Schaub couldn’t move the ball into Vikings territory.While the first quarter was pretty disappointing for fans of the Raiders, the young players stepped up and shut out the Vikings and probably should of won the game save for some poor execution in plus territory thanks to one interception and a blocked FG attempt in what was a 10-6 loss after a late Matt McGloin touchdown. If Oakland duplicate their performance from the last three quarters with a strong start with the first units on the field that will be a sign that the team is headed in the right direction."
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2. Who is one player you’re looking forward to seeing play against the Lions tonight?
"Kory Sheets. It may be a name that isn’t as sexy as rookies Khalil Mack and Derek Carr, but Sheets is going to get the majority of second half carries while he looks to convince the Raiders to make room for him in a running back platoon with Maurice Jones-Drew, Darren McFadden and Latavius Murray. Last year’s Grey Cup MVP with a near 200 yard rushing performance to win the CFL title, Sheets is one of those second half players to watch tonight in Oakland."
3. What has been the vibe from Raiders camp?
"It is a vibe of motivation to prove the doubters wrong and compete, which I suppose is usually the vibe at every Raiders camp for the past decade of failure in the franchise. This time there are far more veteran leaders with Super Bowl experience helping that positivity, but this is a team that looks like it will fight for each other and wants to show the NFL that it isn’t a group of has beens and rookies that some critics have claimed they are."
4. What do you need to see to consider tonight’s night a success for the Raiders?
"A strong showing from the first units is a must for head coach Dennis Allen and the Raiders tonight if they want to deem tonight a success, after intense practices with the Cowboys in Oxnard during the middle of the week and coming into the Coliseum fans are expecting a better showing from both the offense and the defense. If Oakland can stop a Lions offense and move the ball on a Lions defense that are both better than the Vikings first units tonight will be deemed a success regardless of what happens through the rest of the game."
5. What are your expectations for tonight’s game?
"Preseason games are hard to predict, but the Oakland Raiders have a lot of depth at the quarterback position and homefield advantage which makes me like their chances of getting some forward momentum. That being said, the explosive Lions offense may give them troubles in the first quarter. Expect a hard fought Week Two preseason affair with everyone on the field still fighting for roster spots, but after a momentum and team building two days in Oxnard this is a game that the Raiders should be up for."
For more on the Raiders, check out Just Blog Baby.