With over 400 comments in the game thread I thought I'd put up a post game thread for everyone to discuss their thoughts about the game. Here are a few of my initial thoughts.
First Team Offense
It was nice to see Russell have a good two-drive game, going 6/9 for 50 yards. Russell's favorite target was obviously Chaz Schilens, who caught 5 balls for 52 yards and also set up a big defensive pass interference call with another pass attempt. I was surprised that Zach Miller's number wasn't called even once. I guess the Raiders already know they have that connection in their pocket whenever they need it. The running game looked alright, even though Fargas' only touch was to get stuffed in the red zone (he won't be there in the regular season). As expected, McFadden and Bush looked much more dynamic and will take a lot of touches away from Fargas this season. Also, except for the one sack, the offensive line looked pretty solid, even without Robert Gallery.
At the end of the day though, it was deja vu all over again to see the Raiders at the 2 yard line and settle for a field goal.
First Team Defense
First drive - fantastic. Tight coverage on the outside, some pressure from the defensive line, and a quick 3 and out. Second drive - WTF? John Marshall was lucky I'm in Florida as he utilized the classic Rob Ryan 3-man rush with the frickin' DT in coverage in the red zone. Result - TD Romo to Witten. I was screaming at the TV. Thankfully the TV booth team was criticizing the defensive call as well, so I felt vindicated. Overall I was pleased with their performance.
Second/Third Team Offense
This is where the game got out of hand for the Cowboys. They had no answer for either Gradkowski or Frye, who were consistently hitting receivers, highlighted by Nick Miller's big grab. Nor did the Cowboys have an answer for Louis Rankin, who always impresses in trainingcamp/preseason and hopefully can get a shot on another team this season.
Second/Third Team Defense
The second and third string back 7 looked pretty good, and we can only hope Ekejiuba is alright. Slade Norris had his nose in a lot of plays. The backup defensive tackles looked OK as well, and William Joseph was getting some consistent pressure. I was disappointed not to see Matt Shaughnessy apply a bit more pressure on Kitna and McGee. He got stood up a few times when he tried to bull rush, and didn't seem to have a great move repetoire.
All in all, it felt amazing to be watching Raiders football again, and the Raiders should take this preseason victory and continue to build on the foundation of returing to greatness. Your thoughts S&BP?