The Detroit Lions will travel to the O.co Coliseum to take on the Oakland Raiders this Friday at 10 p.m. ET.
The Lions are coming off a come from behind victory against the Browns while the Raiders are coming off a disappointing loss to the Vikings. Neither team displayed dominance in their first preseason game and both will look to improve on Friday.
Here are some things to look for:
The Oakland Raiders appeared to have traded up for a talented quarterback in Matt Schaub, acquired from the Houston Texans this offseason. However, Schaub had a dismal performance in the first preseason game, not making a single first down and only compiling 21 passing yards in three series. The competition might be progressing between him and rookie Derek Carr, although Carr’s performance was also mediocre.
The Raiders’ coach, Dennis Allen, said they are continuing to support Schaub as the starter but Carr will get playing time this Friday and comparing their performances can either solidify or change the current situation.
The Lions, on the other hand, have recently found their third-string quarterback, Kellen Moore, to be the talk of the town after Saturday’s performance, outplaying second-string Dan Orlovsky with a game-winning touchdown while going 11 for 13 and 121 yards. Moving forward, the coaches expressed potential for Moore to get more reps. Pay attention to when Moore enters the game and how well he is able to execute. If he has success again this weekend, it could signal a change on the QB depth chart.
First-round draft battles:
Tight end Eric Ebron of the Detroit Lions will face Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack, the fifth overall draft pick out of Buffalo. The matchup should be competitive while providing the coaches with additional information about each players’ abilities against similar talent and experience.
Ebron has been somewhat inconsistent in training camp. In the first game against the Browns, Ebron proved decent as a blocker but saw little action actually catching the ball. Mack, in his first game, wasn’t necessarily a dominant force but seemed to disrupt some plays.
Other notable rookies that will be seeing playing time in game two are Kyle Van Noy for the Lions and Shelby Harris for the Raiders. Van Noy, the second-round pick in this year’s draft, is an explosive linebacker in space with versatility and great closing speed.
Harris, the rookie defensive end and seventh-round pick, finished his first preseason game with two tackles and a sack on the night. He had a surprisingly great performance against the Vikings so it will be interesting to see if he can make things happen two games in a row.
Both teams have been plagued with penalty issues the past few seasons. While the Lions seemed to manage the problem against the Browns, the Raiders struggled with discipline, committing 13 penalties for 94 yards including a false start on the first offensive play of the game.
With the new holding rule in place, each game is prone to flags being thrown as the players adjust, but this game might have more penalties than most.
The game will be shadowed with relocation talks as the Raiders have been looking into a possible move to either Los Angeles or San Antonio. Tune in Friday night as preseason NFL action continues.