The Oakland Raiders’ play versus the Green Bay Packers was all but assuring on Friday evening’s ground-and-pound at Lambeau Field. Oakland’s first-team offense failed to find a rhythm and its secondary gave up big chunks for a 31-21 final.
The Packers’ starters gracefully drove down the field on their opening drive to score six plus two, and the Raiders answered with their own five-play series that ended with a 40-yard Maurice Jones-Drew dash to paydirt.
Following a Packers punt, the Raiders went three-and-out five straight possessions, and on a sixth drive fumbled the ball on a desperate fourth down attempt. By the half, Matt Schaub was 11 of 22 for 61 yards passing, and the starters had committed seven of Oakland’s nine penalties for the night. The Raiders trailed 22-7.
Schaub and the first unit remained in after the break and executed an eight-play, 66-yard drive through the red zone. A drop by Marcel Reece in the end zone, an overturned James Jones touchdown catch and an overthrow to Rod Streater resulted in zilch and the hook. The Packers and their second and third-stringers tacked on nine more points to make a 31-7 lead, before Matt McGloin and company summoned magic in the game’s final minutes. The second-year quarterback nailed preseason standout Brice Butler for touchdowns at the 2:41 and 0:11-second mark.
Meaningless score aside, concern over Schaub’s play is growing in the Raider Nation. The offensive line has hung him out to dry, however, blowing several blitz pickups against the Packers and the Detroit Lions the week prior. In addition, Oakland’s receivers struggled to gain separation from Green Bay’s stout corners, which may become a recurring theme this season facing so many elite defenses.
Positives to draw from the contest included Khalil Mack’s performance (two tackles for loss and a brilliant interception on a screen pass), but serious injuries to Sio Moore (neck) and Kory Sheets (Achilles) furthered dampened the mood.
The Raiders have a tall order correcting their issues versus the Seattle Seahawks next Friday at home in their final preseason exhibition.
Photo Credit: Joe Mahoney / Associated Press