Oakland Raiders Preseason Week-3: Plays of the Game

Luis Reyes – Aug 28, 2012

Anybody who is cheering for the Silver and Black has a lot to be excited about. What a game the Okland Raiders had on Saturday! Wow! A lot were saying the Raiders were lacking energy and explosiveness the first two games but in this game three of the Preseason that is all the Raiders showed, energy and explosiveness.

What I personally like the most about this preseason is that the Raiders have improved in every game they’ve played. It means they are starting to get accustomed to what Dennis Allen is teaching. I like it!

The defense has been frustrating Quarterbacks in all three games with the pass rush, and the offense finally showed signs of life on Saturday with a lot of explosion and big plays. Out of all the great plays we saw, my job is to pick out the best plays of the game, so let’s get to it!

Defensive Play of the Game

The Raiders defense has been amazing all preseason, both starters and backups. If this is any sign of what’s to come then the Raiders are in good hands. A lot of good plays all of Saturday afternoon and a lot of consistency from the defense. But one player stood out above all, being the main factor to the defensive play of the game, ladies and gentleman I present to you Jamie Cumbie.

Cumbie had an amazing four batted passes from the Defensive Tackle position. If he wasn’t harassing the quarterback, he was getting his hands up in the air and disrupting passes.  The best of all came late in the fourth quarter. The lions got the ball back with less than two minutes left to play, and on the first play from scrimmage, Quarterback Kellen Moore tried a pass down the middle which was batted up by Defensive Tackle Jamie Cumbie and intercepted by Defensive Tackle Christo Bilukidi.

Christo Bilukidi made an amazingly athletic play on the ball to catch it in the air right before it hit the ground. That showed great athleticism and awareness from the 6’5 320 pound rookie Defensive Lineman out of Georgia State. Cumbie managed to make a play on the ball besides the fact he got double teamed, this is thanks to the fact that he was wreaking havoc all afternoon on the Lions offensive Line.

Defensive Player of the Game:  Jamie Cumbie

Offensive Play of the Game

Just like last week I am once again faced with a conundrum to choose the Offensive Play of the Game. This thanks to the duo of Terrelle Pryor and Juron Criner. These two young men really put on a show on Saturday with two HUGE plays in the second half.

The first was a 39 yard touchdown pass thrown to Criner on a vertical route. Criner out powered an already worn out Alfonso Smith to catch the ball over him. Criner managed to come down with the catch in the end zone even though Alfonso Smith’s coverage was so tight he was flagged with a pass interference penalty.  Pryor stood strong in the pocket and delivered a beautiful pass and put it in a spot where only his receiver was able to get it.

The second play was picture perfect execution.  Pryor executed perfectly a play action boot to the right and threw a perfect pass on the run down the middle of the field to Juron Criner on a deep crossing route. Criner caught the ball perfectly and took it to the house for 76 yards. Once again the defensive back was flagged for holding on Criner while he was running his route but this receiver is just too strong. What Criner lacks in speed he more than makes up for in power and athleticism.

The play call was perfect since the defense had eight defenders in the box and completely bit on the play action fake.

Honestly whichever play is chosen here is the right one. I honestly think it’s a matter of personal opinion because both plays were great. The first showed skill with Criner’s amazing grab and the second showed perfection in execution.

I’m going to select the first play from Pryor and Criner as the offensive play of the game. I’m taking the 39 yard touchdown pass because of the level of difficulty of Criner’s catch; it showed a tremendous amount of skill. The other reason I’m going with this play if because of what I saw from Pryor. He stood strong in the pocket and even took a hit when letting go of the ball, delivering a great and difficult throw to his receiver.  That play in itself shows that Pryor is really improving on his pocket presence.

/articleimages/pryor-stiff-arm.jpgOffensive Player of the Game: Terrelle Pryor

It’s amazing how we are seeing all of the Raiders improve week after week right before our eyes. It really leaves us fans with a lot of positive expectations for the future. If the Raiders keep executing at the level they did against the Lions, then they will be making it hard for me all season to long to choose the plays of the game. But hey, I can’t complain about that!

Follow us on Twitter: @Lu1sReyes and @RNTimes

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