Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 8/24/12

 

The Oakland Raiders will take on the challenge of slowing down an explosive Detroit Lions offense in the third preseason game tomorrow. With the third preseason game widely regarded as a dress rehearsal for the regular season, the Raiders will be tested on both sides of the ball. Because the first team offense and defense will play little if any in the last preseason game next week, look for starters to play more snaps.

 

The Lions finished fourth in passing yards last season averaging over 300 yards per game. That will provide the Raiders with a measuring stick to evaluate the defense, especially the secondary and defensive front. In week two against Arizona the Raiders were able to pressure the quarterback and disrupt the Cardinals passing game. They will need to duplicate that effort to take quarterback Matthew Stafford out of rhythm.

During the game, the Raiders will face off against the best wide receiver in the NFL, Calvin Johnson. Megatron will provide cornerbacks Ron Bartell and Shawntae Spencer with a challenge that will prepare them for the regular season. This will be the first time this season head coach Dennis Allen and defensive coordinator Jason Tarver will put in a crude defensive game plan for the Lions. This week in practice the team designated a player to wear an 81 jersey so it will be interesting to see how the coaches try to play Johnson.

On the offensive side of the ball, the offensive line will have to prepare for a talented Detroit defensive front led by defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Center Alex Parsons will likely get the start for injured Stefen Wisniewski in the contest. The Raiders will need to establish the run game with Darren McFadden to give hesitation to the defensive front's aggressiveness. Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp will test the offense a little more this week.

“What has been good this week, for us to evaluate as coaches, we are game planning a little bit this week,” Knapp said. “Not full on, but we are doing more than we did the first two games. We are seeing what our offense can handle from a scheme standpoint.”

Because of the injuries to wide receivers Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford, quarterback Carson Palmer will be working with inexperienced but talented rookie receivers Rod Streater and Juron Criner. Streater has been terrific this offseason catching 13 passes in the preseason. The Detroit secondary is suspect, so Palmer will get opportunities to take advantage. The Lions were 22nd in the NFL against the pass last season.

It will be beneficial for the Raiders to play a playoff team last season in the third preseason game. It will give the coaches and management the chance to evaluate the players against a solid team in a game situation. This will also be the last preseason game for some members of the Raiders. Early next week, the NFL requires teams to trim the roster to 75 players.

 

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

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