NFL Team Report - Oakland Raiders - INSIDE SLANT
Dennis Allen has spent a lot of time in the offseason reconnecting the franchise to its past, but the Oakland Raiders' return to a long-standing tradition against the Minnesota Vikings wasn't what he had in mind.
Long the NFL's most penalized team, the Raiders committed 13 penalties for 94 yards in a 10-6 loss to Minnesota. The first offensive snap was a false start on right tackle Menelik Watson, and the Raiders went three-and-out after starting with a first-and-15.
On their second possession, tight end Brian Leonhardt was whistled for a facemask on a 7-yard run by Maurice Jones-Drew. Instead of second-and-3, the Raiders were at first-and-17. It resulted in another punt.
A 42-yard drive by the Vikings was aided by two Raiders penalties. With Minnesota facing a second-and-15, a neutral zone infraction by Pat Sims put the Vikings in a second-and-10. They eventually converted a first down because a defensive holding call on cornerback Tarell Brown.
"The penalities were really the big story of the game," Allen said. "Defensively, we made penalties on third downs."
There were more pre-snap penalties, later in the game, with two false-start penalties on guard Tony Bergstrom and one on tackle Erle Ladson. Cornerback Chimdi Chekwa drew a defensive holding foul.
"Obviously the ones we have to totally clean up are the pre-snap penalties that put us in bad situations," Allen said.
Quarterback Matt Schaub was 3 of 7 for 21 yards in his Raiders debut and believes they must do better.
"Overall we were pretty sloppy, Schaub said. "We hurt ourselves with penalties, put ourselves in long-yardage situations and it's tough to win that way. We have to look hard at our mistakes and clean those up because those are things we can control, especially pre-snap issues. We need to iron those out if we want to be the type of team we want to be."
When Raiders players return from the mandatory day off following the game, Chekwa expects to hear plenty about the penalties.
"We had a lot of them and that isn't good considering the recent history of the Raiders," Chekwa said. "D.A. is not going to like that."
Said Allen: "I don't know that in the past you would see some of these things called, but with the rules and points of emphasis, we're going to see those things," Allen said. "It was good for us to get out, play a game and see how officials are going to call those things."
NFL Team Report - Oakland Raiders - NOTES, QUOTES
--Quarterback Matt Schaub's statistical line was unimpressive and could have been much better with some help from his wide receivers and without one key penalty.
Tight end Mychal Rivera, normally an extremely reliable receiver, couldn't come up with a pair of downfield throws that would have gone for first downs on passes that weren't easy plays but still catchable.
A third-and-6 strike to Andre Holmes for 16 yards was called back because of a holding penalty on left tackle Pat Sims.
Schaub said he wasn't sure if it was a case of opening-game jitters.
"We'll have to look at it. We will have to talk to guys. It might have been," Schaub said. "We're not on the practice field anymore. The lights are on and we need to go out and play. This was an opportunity to forge our identity for the season. We didn't go out and play near to our expectations or our standard. We need to go back and figure out how not to play that way next week."
--Derek Carr, the second-round draft pick out of Fresno State, completed 7 of 10 passes for 45 yards but didn't produce any points. One drive ended when he threw slightly high for fullback Jamize Olawale, with the ball bouncing off his hands to Minnesota defensive back Kurt Coleman.
"My fault," Carr said. "I threw it too high. That's on me."
Carr said he did feel comfortable in his first NFL game.
"I want to continue to get better at those little things," Carr said. "Those things matter. The quicker you can get in and out of the huddle, the more time you have on the clock to see what's going on. I have a lot to work on, but from that aspect I liked what we did, and I've just got to keep growing and getting better at it."
--The debut of strong-side linebacker and first-round draft pick Khalil Mack resulted in two tackles, one for a loss.
"It was kind of a relief to be out there and be back to playing football, but at the same time there is a sense of wanting to get better," Mack said.
Allen said Mack caused some "disruption" on a couple of pass rush attempts but overall "looked like a guy playing his first NFL game."
--Brown and Chekwa each drew flags for defensive holding - a point of emphasis among officials this season -- and the Vikings were whistled three times for similar infractions.
"I wonder if it's going to calm down a little bit during the season as we get used to new calls," Chekwa said. "I'm just curious how it's going to be during the season."
--The Raiders were being outgained 120 to 51 and had one first down to nine for Minnesota when Schaub went out of the game. By game's end, the game was a statistical wash. They outgained the Vikings 268 to 236 and had 16 first downs to 17 for Minnesota.
Although the statistical comeback came courtesy of players who will either not be on the roster or have no major role on the team, Allen said, "I thought our guys came back and fought. Late in the game we were able to move the ball a little bit, and after the first couple of series, defensively we were able to keep them scoreless for the rest of the game so that was a positive."
BATTLE OF THE WEEK: Denarius Moore vs. Andre Holmes at wide receiver. Holmes opened as the starter and is listed as first on the depth chart on his side as the Raiders love his size and ability to fight for the ball. In a game situation, however, Round 1 went to Moore. He caught three passes for 28 yards but two of them were impressive because they came on throws when he had to reach back for passes from Carr that were behind him and he made the catch anyway.
NFL Team Report - Oakland Raiders - STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
Raiders second-year tight end Nick Kasa likely tore his ACL in practice which will sideline him for the season, according to reports Wednesday.
Kasa was carted off the field because of the knee injury during Tuesday's joint practice with the Dallas Cowboys.
"Preliminary reports are an ACL (tear)," coach Dennis Allen said. "If that's the case, he would be done for the year."
Kasa played all 16 games for the Raiders last season, mostly on special teams. He had one catch for 14 yards and a touchdown.
--DT Justin Ellis left the game in the first quarter with a concussion and must go through the league protocol before returning to the field.
--RB Darren McFadden carried only once but burst for 23 yards before taking the rest of the night off.
--QB Matt McGloin was 11 of 18 for 90 yards and scored the lone touchdown for the Raiders on a 10-yard scramble late in the first quarter.
--LB Kaelin Burnett led the Raiders with six tackles and dropped Teddy Bridgwater for a sack.
--WR Brice Butler had four receptions for 44 yards with a long gain of 15 yards.
--S Jansen Watson has a toe injury and his practice availability has yet to be determined.
--DE Shelby Harris, a seventh-round draft pick who has been getting work with the second team, had a sack that caused a fumble.