Oakland Raiders Disappoint with Sloppy Performance vs. Minnesota Vikings

The Oakland Raiders' play matched the sloppy weather conditions in Minnesota on Saturday night, as the team exhibited poor execution in every phase of its game against the Vikings.

Head coach Jack Del Rio had been preaching about physical but mentally grounded football. Neither of those two adjectives applied to the Raiders, who racked up 13 penalties for 106 yards in the 20-12 loss.

Flashes of hope flickered through the rough patches, but the totality of the contest triggered some concern for a couple of players who failed to show up or show improvement.

We’ll break down Oakland’s second preseason matchup in three categories tailor-made for the Raiders: the excellence, the silver lining and the black cloud.


The Excellence

Preseason is more about player development than wins and losses, so forget about the 20-12 outcome for a moment. What did each player show the coaching staff on an individual basis?

Inside linebacker Ben Heeney continued to prove he’s the real deal. The fifth-round pick contributed to seven tackles and a bone-crushing sack that forced a fumble in the beginning of the third quarter. As a result, the Heeney hype machine has gained more steam with the regular season approaching.

It seems general manager and former linebacker Reggie McKenzie can spot talent at his old position anywhere in the draft. He selected Sio Moore in the third round of the 2013 draft, Khalil Mack as a first-round pick in 2014 and Heeney in the fifth round this year.

All three linebackers will play major roles in the improvement of the defense this season.

The Raiders also have a running back capable of doing anything they could ask of him. He’s bursting through running lanes, grinding out positive yardage when there’s nothing in front of him and finishing at the goal line. Latavius Murray checked o...

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