Week two of the regular season is now officially in the books. The 0-1 New York Jets took a trip to Oakland to face the 1-0 Oakland Raiders. New York is expected by many to be one of the worst teams in the NFL, while the Raiders hope to be Super Bowl contenders with a healthy Derek Carr under shotgun. Oakland was able to take control and beat the Jets badly, providing Oakland Raiders week two takeaways.
1) Conley Sees The Field
It was a rough start for corner back Gareon Conley. After missing all of the pre-season, and the first week of the regular season due to shin splints, Raider Nation finally got a glimpse of the first round pick today. Conley had a pretty quite day, but was able to record a tackle and a pass deflection.
Conley’s pass deflection came early in the game, and almost resulted in an interception for Reggie Nelson. Conley had enough awareness to realize he couldn’t catch the ball, thus tried to tap it into Nelson’s hands. The Raiders need more players to create opportunistic plays such as that for their defense to excel.
Although it was a quiet game for Conley, Raiders fans can breathe a sigh of relief after seeing a promising start to the rookie’s career. Conley has a lot more to learn, and a lot of catching up to do. But, there are plenty of good things to come for Conley.
2) A Lack of Linebackers
It was common knowledge that Oakland’s defense would struggle when it came to the middle of the defense. The team failed to sign or draft an immediate impact player in the off-season, and the result is a lot of young, unproven linebackers trying to stick. Oakland’s linebackers will be a problem all season long.
Cory James and Marquel Lee are trying their best but, even against an awful offensive team like the Jets, they struggled. Jets quarterback Josh McCown threw for two touchdowns, and picked up plenty of yards with his feet. A lack of a presence in the middle of the field hurts the Raiders in coverage.
The lack of veteran linebackers is exacerbated when it comes to run defense; running backs explode into the middle of the field regardless of the push from the defensive line. The Raiders seem overtly soft in the middle, getting pushed around too easily. Oakland will acquire veteran and strong linebackers sooner, rather than later. Otherwise, Khalil Mack‘s talents may go to waste on an underwhelming defense.
3) Crabtree Hat Trick
Oakland quarterback Derek Carr had himself quite the day. Carr threw over 200 yards and had threee touchdowns, with all three of those touchdowns caught by Michael Crabtree. A player like Crabtree can sometimes take a backseat to Amari Cooper, and Marshawn Lynch. But make no mistake, Michael Crabtree demands respect. Crabtree had six receptions for 80 yards and three touchdowns; hance, half of Crabtree’s receptions were touchdowns.
Crabtree would be a number one receiver on most other teams. On a stacked receiving corps like the Raiders, Crabtree has quickly become one of the best number two wide receivers in the entire league.
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