Last Friday, Lions quarterback Matt Stafford had a field day against he Raider number one defense. And he did it without All Pro receiver, Calvin Johnson even dressed.
Stafford started the game and played two series. He led the Lions to touchdowns on both series. In the process he complete 9 of 10 passes for 88 yards and both touchdowns came through the air -- one to a wide open Golden Tate with Tarell Brown in coverage and the other to Kris Durham with T.J. Carrie in coverage. That touchdown pass was set up by a 15-yard connection to Kevin Ogletree to the 4-yard line.
Even as good as Stafford is, going two drives with more touchdown passes (2) than incompletions (1), should be concerning. Especially after Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel had similar success in the first preseason game.
Even still, Dennis Allen says he isn't overly concerned.
"I think it's still an area that needs to be improved. It's not the finished product, but that's not a huge concern of mine," said Allen in conference call Saturday. "I think when last year we were kind of in a little bit of the same boat. When you have that many new players and that many changing parts, it takes a little while to get that part of your defense down. It's really not a concern of mine. Obviously, there are things that we've got to get better at, but when we get ready to kick the ball off against the Jets, I'm confident that we'll play good defense."
The pass defense woes aren't limited to the secondary, either. They include the pass rush. The first team defense has not offered much in the way of pressure on opposing quarterbacks in these first two games despite the addition of Justin Tuck, Lamarr Woodley, and fifth overall draft pick Khalil Mack.
In that regard, comparing it to last season should, if anything, be more of a cause of concern. Last year's squad had little to no pass rush to speak of and outside of some tricky schemes early in the season, ended up allowing a record number of points, most of which came through the air.
Dennis Allen also said he doesn't expect DJ Hayden back this week from the stress fracture he suffered in his foot last May. It is becoming more and more possible he could land on the PUP list to begin the regular season. If that ends up being the case, he would be out at least the first six games.
The Raiders pass defense will have an even tougher test this week when they travel to Green Bay for their third preseason game. The third preseason game is when the starters play the most -- usually three quarters. That means more time for Aaron Rodgers to pick apart the Raiders suspect pass defense. So, expect that things will get worse before they get better. If they get better at all.