The Oakland Raiders played very well in their 31-20 win over the Detroit Lions. The offense and defense both had excellent games. I will be highlighting a few players that stuck-out during the win against Detroit. Here’s a look at the players who came-out on top, and those who who were on the bottom in my weekly “Winners/Losers” feature.
Taiwan Jones got his first action of the preseason in the game against Detroit. He didn’t disappoint. Taiwan Jones ran for 50 yards on 10 carries. He showed the speed that coaches were raving about. Taiwan Jones was able to escape traffic and turn 1 or 2 yard gains — into 5-10 yard gains. I think it’s safe to assume that Taiwan Jones is the No. 2 running back right now.
After struggling in the first two preseason games, Terrelle Pryor came back in a huge way against the Lions. Terrelle Pryor rushed for 90 yards and was able to get a rushing touchdown. We all knew that Terrelle Pryor was an electrifying runner, but he showed some improvement as a passer. Terrelle Pryor passed for 137 yards and 2 touchdowns, showing the arm that Al Davis fell in love with. Pryor still has a ways to go as a quarterback, but his performance probably earned himself some playing time in a “Wildcat” package.
Juron Criner is another player that has a slow-start to the preseason. Criner struggled with drops in the first 2 preseason games and failed to make an impact. Against Detroit, Juron Criner caught 2 passes, tallying 115 yards and 2 touchdowns. He finally showed his playmaking ability in an actual game. With the receiver corps banged-up, this helps Juron Criner’s chances of getting playing time when the regular season starts.
Up until the game against Detroit, Miled Burris played inconsistently. Miles Burris put together his best preseason game so far against Detroit. He wasn’t as overaggressive as he was in the past games. Burris showed good instincts and was good at tracking the ball. Aaron Curry will probably start the season on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list. Burris had a great game.This will increase the coaching staff’s confidence in Burris’ ability to start in place of Aaron Curry.
Rod Streater had another great performance. I considered putting him in the “Winners” section, but then I thought, what more does Rod Streater have to win? He’s an undrafted free agent who has probably earned himself a starting spot (or at least serious playing-time) week 1 of the regular season. Rod Streater has came out of nowhere and has impressed us all.
On an already crowed group of wide receivers, Eddie McGee did not help himself at all against Detroit. He had a bobbled drop that fell into Stephen Tulloch’s hands. He was talked-up by Carson Palmer during the offseason and has failed to make an impact, due to injury or poor play. It’s highly unlikely that Eddie McGee will make the 53-man roster at this point.
Carson Palmer had a “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” game. Early on, Carson Palmer looked comfortable and was making plays. Once the 2nd quarter hit, Palmer started making mistakes. He threw 2 interceptions (one wasn’t entirely his fault). Even on a screen, Carson Palmer had an issue just getting rid of the ball. Instead of throwing the ball to the ground, Carson Palmer tried to force the ball to Taiwan Jones when he was surrounded by the Lions’ defensive linemen. Carson Palmer can be a really good quarterback, but he desperately needs to improve his decision-making.
Mike Brisiel has played fairly well this preseason. But when playing against Detroit’s Ndamukong Suh, Brisiel struggled. Whether it was false starts, or letting Suh get in the backfield, it just wasn’t Mike Brisiel’s day. There were two false starts called Mike Brisiel in the first half. Mike Brisiel also allowed a sack. While Ndamukong Suh is one of the better defensive tackles in the NFL, you just cant allow him to dominate like he did. Mike Brisiel is a good offensive lineman, he just needs to bounce back.