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Oakland Raiders at New Orleans Saints Preseason Week Two Preview

August 16th, 2013 at 9:55 AM
By Nicholas Gill

The Oakland Raiders travel to take on the New Orleans Saints in week two of the preseason. This will be an important test as the starting and contributing players should see more time than in the opener. 

'Drew Brees, Media Day' photo (c) 2010, Ian Ransley - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Quarterback Matt Flynn only played two series last week resulting in a decent performance. He was outshined by Terrelle Pryor and his ability to move the offense and make plays with his arm and legs. This week, Flynn should get a few more series to show why the coaching staff is firmly behind him as the starter. For Pryor, he needs to continue to show his electric skill set. For the third quarterback spot. Matt McGloin looks far ahead of fourth round draft pick Tyler Wilson, but there is plenty of time for this to play out.

The loss of left tackle Jared Veldheer to torn triceps put a huge hole at the most important position along the Raiders' offensive line. Everyone will be watching to see how Alex Barron plays and whether he can be a serviceable replacement for Veldheer. The rest of the offensive line will look to bounce back from a shaky performance against the Dallas Cowboys a week ago.

As for the skill positions, running back Darren McFadden should get a couple series. Starting wide receivers Denarius Moore and Rod Streater will look to build on their chemistry with Flynn. It will just be a matter of seeing how these guys can work together to make the offense better, especially because they are going against a Saints defense that was dreadful a year ago. Rookie Brice Bulter will look to build upon his debut, where he caught two passes for 70 yards and the Raiders' lone touchdown.

On the defensive side of the ball, Sio Moore had a memorable sack in his first game in a Raiders uniform. He will look to continue that performance and solidify the strong side linebacker job. Nick Roach and Kevin Burnett as did a nice job last week in this rebuilt linebacker corps. They need to continue to gel and work off one another.

The secondary will be in for a stout test against Drew Brees and the explosive Saints offense. The unit played well against the Cowboys a week ago, but gave up big yardage in the middle of the field and on underneath routes. It will be interesting to see what adjustments they make in order to fix that problem.

The defensive line has been riddled with injuries. Pat Sims, Vance Walker, and Lamaar Houston all missed the first preseason game and it is undetermined if they will play Friday. Because of these guys missing time, it is difficult to judge if the unit is improved. They still lack depth, but this will give an opportunity for rotational guys to step up.

On special teams, the Raiders performed well in week one. They traditionally have excellent special teams and should continue that trend this season. New special teams coach Booby April has them executing and playing with energy.

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Tags: Alex Barron, Darren McFadden, Drew Brees, Football, Jared Veldheer, Matt Flynn, New Orleans Saints, NFL, Oakland, Oakland Raiders, Sio Moore, Terrelle Pryor, Vance Walker

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