The Oakland Raiders started the 2017 season off with a win over the Tennessee Titans, that much we know. But what else can we take away from the season opener?
Before the game, I urged fans not to react too much in any direction because week one is just that, week one. Both a great performance and a bad performance could be a fluke and neither guarantees that the Raiders will play that way consistently through all 16 games.
But while we don’t want to assume too much from just one game, there is a lot we can learn from the week one win.
For example, I think it’s safe to say that the Raiders offense will once again be elite. That’s not making too big of a leap since that statement does not rely entirely on just week one. The Raiders offense was elite last season and it only got better in the offseason. While nothing’s guaranteed, it’s not unreasonable to have the offense being a powerhouse again being a big takeaway from week one.
But what about the defense? It looked so much better in week one than it did at almost any time last season, can we expect that moving forward?
The answer to that question isn’t so simple. No, the Raiders did not perform this well on defense at any point last season but arguably their best game as a defensive unit? Well, that came against the Tennessee Titans. Though it’s a small sample size, it would appear that this Raiders defense simply matches up well against the Titans offense. The lack of small, shifty receivers who make a living embarrassing guys like Sean Smith is one huge note worthy of mentioning since Smith had a strong game.
But I will say this. While I’m not ready to say that the secondary and pass defense as a whole was fixed after week one, I am willing to say that the run defense appears to be greatly improved. Why am I more comfortable saying that? A couple of reasons.
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