Bair's 10 Raiders observations entering regular season
Carr continues to impress
The Raiders rookie quarterback put on a clinic against Seattle, including one driving against most of the Seahawks’ first-team defense. He was 11-for-13 for 143 yards and three touchdowns in 22 snaps. Is he ready to start the entire regular season? Carr is making it hard to answer no with conviction.
Raiders have a cornerback controversy
Yeah, I got the position right. The Raiders have two choose their No. 3 cornerback between Neiko Thorpe and TJ Carrie, and neither player looks ready for the heavy workload required from that spot. With DJ Hayden on PUP and Chimdi Chekwa’s healthy status uncertain, the Raiders might have a trouble spot in their defense.
McGloin’s a pretty good backup
Second-year quarterback Matt McGloin had a solid preseason, showing the poise and accuracy of a player required to play and produce at a moment’s notice. McGloin finished the preseason with 471 passing yards, four touchdowns and just one interception. Should he be called upon in the regular season, McGloin will come in confident and ready to play.
Is Greg Little on the bubble?
The Raiders claimed the receiver off waivers this off season, and have described him as a solid deep threat. Recently, Little hasn’t been the dynamic player some believe he can be. If the Raiders choose to keep just five receivers, Little could be on the way out.
Murray’s one tough runner
Latavius Murray took first-unit reps Thursday night with Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden resting before the regular season, and the Central Florida played excellent football. He had eight carries for 41 yards and a touchdown. He also had a 38-yard kickoff return in the first quarter. Murray proved that the Raiders have quality depth should the veterans get hurt.
O-line switch(es) ahead?
Right tackle Menelik Watson played with the second unit Thursday, with Khalif Barnes starting in his place. Rookie Gabe Jackson, whom the Raiders love and would like to get into the starting lineup, took Barnes’ place at left guard. The Raiders didn’t miss a beat with that arrangement. We’ll have to see next week if those changes take hold or if Watson moves back into the starting lineup.
Moore shows why you keep him around
Receiver Denarius Moore’s inconsistency can be maddening. He was excellent on Thursday, even while covered by standout Seahawks corner Richard Sherman. He had three receptions for 58 yards and two excellent touchdown catches. Can he repeat such a performance? The Raiders sure hope so.
Raiders need their front-line linebackers
The Raiders played without middle linebacker Nick Roach (concussion) and weakside linebacker Sio Moore (neck) due to injury, and Kaluka Maiava and Miles Burris showed some flaws. Both guys are players of quality, but they simply aren’t as athletic, especially in pass coverage.
Defense still starts slowsio moore
The Raiders defense opened each game of the preseason by allowing a touchdown. Each time, it’s looked easy. Too easy for comfort, really. They did so again in Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson’s only series, and similarly porous play could spell trouble in the regular season.
Hold on to the ball, George
Undrafted rookie running back George Atkinson III, son of a Raiders great with the same name, fared well with his biggest workload of the preseason. He had eight carries for 63 yards, including a 26-yard scamper. He also had a 45-yard kickoff return, but that performance was sullied somewhat by a fumble. Ball security has been an issue he must correct, and should get to do so as a member of the practice squad.