Taking Away the Good and the Bad from Oakland Raiders Preseason

Although the preseason still has a week to go, I think we have seen enough to make some judgments about certain aspects of the Oakland Raiders, with the first roster cuts coming Monday afternoon. 

What has gone well the first three games?

Reggie McKenzie was perhaps the most important offseason addition by the Raiders because he is the first man to control the football aspect of the Raiders since the Al Davis era of 1963-2011.

McKenzie is known to have an eye for finding the best players in the NFL draft and the best undrafted free agents.  With guys like Rod Streater, Juron Criner and Jamie Cumbie lighting up the preseason, McKenzie is proving that he knows how to evaluate young talent.

Speaking of those young players, Streater leads the team with 18 catches through three games. Criner put on a show with Terrelle Pryor in the second half of the Raiders first preseason win.  He made only two catches, but they combined for 115 yards and both were touchdowns.

Dennis Allen was brought to Oakland to do two things: fix the defense and teach discipline to reduce penalties.  So far it looks like D.A. has done a great job at both.  

Opposing offenses are no longer gutting the Raiders front line with the running game (the Lions averaged a yard per carry in the first half Saturday night) and the Raiders have had a significantly lower number of penalties.  I will also give credit to Allen's defensive coordinator Jason "The Mad Chemist" Tarver for the much improved defense.

What has gone bad the first three games?

In a word: health.  Denarius Moore, Jacoby Ford, Richard Seymour, Aaron Curry, Stefen Wisniewski, the list goes on.  As if those absences aren't enough, Sebastian Janikowski got hurt on a kickoff as he tried to tackle the return man.  

In another word: offense.  The first team offense finally reached...

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