The Raiders played much better than many expected. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor rushed for 112 yards, passed for 217 yards and threw a touchdown. Darren McFadden got into the end zone, and the defense did not play too badly. With all that being said, I am not buying it. This team is severely lacking talent and is going to be terrible this season.
The numbers for Pryor were nice, but he did throw two interceptions. The talent is there for Pryor, but I do not see him becoming a legitimate starting quarterback in the NFL. He does not seem to read the defense very well. Many times, he looked for his first target and if that player was not open, Pryor would just take off and run.
This is great for your fantasy team, but if the Raiders are going to be decent, Pryor must look at all of his receiving options.
Speaking of the Raiders’ receivers, Denarius Moore caught the touchdown pass from Pryor on Sunday. Moore is a nice deep threat that does have some talent, but he has never been very impressive to me. Moore shows flashes at times but has not been consistent at all.
Rod Streater appeared to be Pryor’s favorite target on Sunday as he caught five passes for 70 yards. Streater is a nice player that has a knack for getting open, but he does not do anything athletically that jumps out at you. Moore and Streater are decent NFL receivers, but are not anything more than that.
McFadden is a talented back, but he has been underwhelming in the NFL and he has a ridiculously long injury history. He has never been able to stay on the field for an entire season as he has missed 24 games in his career. McFadden did score a touchdown on Sunday, but looked pretty average overall. He carried the ball 17 times for 48 yards, which averages out to 2.8 yards per carry. That is simply not going to get it done.
I do not blame McFadden 100 percent for his production as the Raiders’ offensive line is one of the worst in the league. They have some interesting young players up front, but a guy like Menelik Watson clearly needs some time to grow and get healthy.
Oakland lost starting left tackle Jared Veldheer to a triceps injury in the preseason. Veldheer is one of the premier offensive lineman in the game, and was obviously a huge blow to the Raiders’ chances to compete in 2013.
Defensively, the Raiders did a fairly nice job keeping Andrew Luck and company in check during Week 1. Oakland’s defense may end up being okay, but I am going to have to see more of a sample size to buy in. They have some interesting players like safety Tyvon Branch, rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden and veteran linebacker Nick Roach, but make no mistake — this defense will give up a ton of points in 2013.
The Raiders are the worst team in the NFL. They simply lack explosive players on both sides of the ball. With new management in charge, I think the Raiders could turn things around, but not anytime soon. I hate to say it Oakland fans, but 2013 is going to be a long season.