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What We Learned From Week 2 of the Preseason

The preseason was made to iron out the kinks. The four games provide a prime chance for teams to work on their craft, evaluate what they have on their roster and make adjustments before the regular season kicks in.

The Oakland Raiders fell in Minnesota to the Vikings 20-12 Saturday night, so let's look at the pros and cons of the Silver and Black's first loss of the preseason.


AC/DC Go Downtown– During his rookie campaign, one of the critiques of Derek Carr, and the Raiders offense in general, was that he did not push the ball down the field enough.

The Raiders quarterback has said that this year they will sling the ball around more, and he proved it Saturday night, connecting with rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper on a 40-yard pass down the right sideline.

Carr delivered a beautiful ball, and Cooper masterfully hauled it in, making sure to get both feet down in bounds, marking the first big-play connection of AC/DC.

Forcing Turnovers –While the Silver and Black did not fly out of Minnesota with a win under their belt, defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr., and the rest of his staff will be pleased that his defense created two turnovers Saturday night.

Not only did safety Jonathan Dowling intercept an errant pass from Shaun Hill, but rookies Ben Heeney and Mario Edwards Jr, also forced a fumble that the Raiders recovered.

In the ultra-competitive AFC West, forcing turnovers will be crucial, and the Raiders were able to do it twice Saturday.

Health, Health, Health– Too often this preseason, we have seen impact players from teams around the league go down with serious injuries.

Through the first half of the preseason schedule, the Silver and Black have managed to stay healthy, which is far more important than tallying wins at this point in the season.


Too Many Penalties –After having an incredibly clean effort in their first preseason game, committing just two penalties, the same could not be said in Saturday's matchup against the Vikings.

The Raiders committed 13 penalties resulting in 106 yards, compared to the Vikings one penalty for 10 yards.

Granted it's still the preseason, but 13 penalties is far more than Head Coach Jack Del Rio would like to see his team commit.

Latavius Murray, Then Who? –As Training Camp 2015 and the preseason has worn on, it has become more and more evident that Latavius Murray will act as the feature back in Oakland in 2015.

The fact that this has been identified is good news, however, a clear backup for him hasn't yet emerged through the first half of the preseason.

Trent Richardson, Taiwan Jones and Michael Dyer haven't run away with the job, no pun intended, and with Roy Helu, Jr., still sidelined, a backup for Murray becomes all the more important.

Defensive Backs Still Need Some Work –It's no secret that the defensive backs in Oakland are young in 2015.

The presumed three-headed monster of DJ Hayden, TJ Carrie and Keith McGill have a combined 15 regular-season starts between them, and while Carrie has been impressive this preseason, seeing if he can be a legitimate No. 1 corner is still undetermined.

Which corner back will secure the second starting role? Will a rookie find himself in the defensive rotation? Through two preseason games, there are still more questions than answers with this position group.

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