Filed for print . . .
After getting shredded by starting quarterbacks Matt Cassel and Matt Stafford, the Raiders will have to work out their problems on pass defense against Aaron Rodgers.
While coach Dennis Allen stressed the positives Saturday following the previous evening’s 27-26 win over the Detroit Lions, it’s clear the Raiders have some work to do with their first team pass defense.
Stafford completed 9 of 10 passes for 88 yards and two touchdowns, a 28-yard strike to Golden Tate against Tarrel Brown and 4-yard pass to Kris Durham. A week earlier, Cassel was 5-for-6 for 62 yards in his lone possession, which resulted in a touchdown.
The Raiders did force a three-and-out in Stafford’s third-possession against the Lions.
For those keeping score, starting quarterbacks are 14 of 16 for 150 yards and two touchdowns _ a passer rating of 145.3 that would make Peyton Manning envious. Four possessions, three touchdowns.
Next up are the Green Bay Packers and Rodgers, who ranks with Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees as the most efficient quarterbacks in the NFL over the past several years.
Four possessions (and three touchdowns) is an admittedly small sample size, and Allen remembers some similar struggles during the preseason a year ago and then the Raiders opened the regular season actually playing decent football.
“It’s not a finished product, but it’s not a huge concern of mine,’’ Allen told local reporters during a conference call. “I think last year we were kind of in the same boat. “When you have that many new players and that many changing parts, it takes a while to get that part of your defense down. I’m confident when we kick off (on Sept. 7) against the Jets, we’ll play good defense.’’
— Rookie quarterback Derek Carr will be subject to the NFL concussion protocol this week and can’t practice until he is cleared. The good news was that X-rays to Carr’s ribs were negative.
Carr was knocked out of the game when defensive end Larry Webster chased him from behind and took him to the ground. Even if Carr were to be cleared, Allen said there are no plans to have him work with the first team this week.
Rookie tackle Justin Ellis, who left the Minnesota game with a concussion, has not been cleared to practice.
An ankle injury to safety Tyvon Branch is not considered serious and is not related to the broken ankle which ended his season last year, Allen said.
Safety Usama Young, out with a quad injury since the team conditioning drill entering training camp, could practice this week, Allen said. Cornerback DJ Hayden and guard Lucas Nix are not close, however, increasing the likelihood one or both could be placed on the regular-season physically unable to perform list, meaning they would miss a minimum of six games.
— First-round draft pick Khalil Mack was a non-factor in a statistical sense until getting a sack against the Lions reserves in the second half.
“I get a ton of questions about Khalil Mack and where he’s at,’’ Allen said. “When you watch the tape, the sack totals, the tackle totals, those things can be misleading . . . it doesn’t mean you’re not being a productive player. I thought Khalil was much improved as to where he was last week. I think you’re going to see a lot of good things out of Khalil Mack.’’
— With Khalif Barnes serving as an extra tight end on some snaps, Gabe Jackson got work with the first team at left guard and played well, Allen asid. He was non-committal as to whether Jackson was challenging for a starting spot.
— Despite the number of hits on starting quarterback Matt Schaub, Allen said he thought other factors contributed to those issues and that the offensive line held up well.
— The Raiders have announced no transactions with regard to signing a tight end or placing the injured Nick Kasa (ACL tear) on injured reserve. The club has reportedly agreed with undrafted free agent Kyle Auffray.