If there’s a game worth forgetting, it might be last Friday’s. We should be thankful that it was a preseason road game and not necessarily a harbinger of the impending season. Still, there were only three plays worthy of the “Top Play” designation — a prestigious title, to be sure.
Before we get to the good stuff, there are two GIFs I think so accurately sum up the Raiders needs that I could not NOT include them. Yeah, I’m trolling a bit here, but I’ve come to terms that with that. What I haven’t come to terms with are: Alex Barron and the Raiders pass rush.
Matt Flynn sacked by Cameron Jordan at OAK 12 for -9 yards
Ladies & Gentlemen, your new starting left tackle, the protector of your quarterback’s blindside, Mr. Alex Barron. In a perfect world, Benny Hill would be playing in the background, Jared Veldheer would have never gotten hurt, and this play would have just been part of a nightmare where you’re Matt Flynn, Cameron Jordan is your old high school girlfriend, and Alex Barron is still Alex Barron. Alas, this is reality. And Barron really would pair this sack with a a penalty and a hurry. Maybe the nightmare isn’t so nightmarish, after all.
Drew Brees pass deep left to Kenny Stills for 16 yards, TOUCHDOWN
Remember those concerns about the Raiders pass rush? Well, it might be time to start to panicking. Drew Brees averaged 3.15 seconds per attempt (which ranks in the top-10 among pass throwers in Week 2 of the preseason). He was pressured five times in total, but that never amounted to much of anything. At one point in this GIF, you can see Charles Brown (71) blocking Stacy McGee (92) with one hand. Sound the alarm: Iceberg straight ahead.
Alright. On to the good stuff.
#3. Seneca Wallace pass short right INTERCEPTED by Omar Gaither (tipped by Kurt Taufa’asau) at NO 21.
I beginning to think linebacker might be the strength of this team. Omar Gaither, who is backing up Nick Roach, was one of the bright spots on the Raiders defense after being signed late last season. It’s much too late now, but with the incredible depth at linebacker, one has to wonder: Why not switch to the 3-4?
#2. Seneca Wallace sacked at NO 1 for -9 yards by David Bass). FUMBLES, RECOVERED by OAK’s Ryan Robinson at NO 1. Robinson for 1 yard, TOUCHDOWN.
Remember how just a moment ago I was saying the Raiders had no pass rush? Well, I wasn’t exactly being truthful. The combination of David Bass and Ryan Robinson has earned one sack, two quarterback hits, and four hurries. Of course these stats are tainted by the level of competition, but a pressure is a pressure at this point. We can’t discount back-ups for accomplishing what the first-team cannot.
#1. Matt Flynn pass deep left to Denarius Moore for 18 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
Flynn showed exceptional awareness, arm-strength and touch on Friday. He flashed abilities that could make him a successful starting quarterback in the league. A week after throwing for 37 yards, only eight of which came in the air — 21.6% of his total yards — Flynn threw for 124 yards, 94 of which came in the air — that is 76.6% of his total yards. That’s a huge improvement, especially given that he was pressured on 10 of his 22 dropbacks and had an average time to throw of just 2.86 seconds.