Sunday Six Pack of Questions: Oakland Raiders vs New Orleans Saints Preview


Will Mark Ingram get the Lions Share of Carries for the Saints (al.com/sports)

Here at NFLmocks I thought I’d take a look at six things I’m wondering about (either college football or NFL Football. Regular season games for college football and the N.F.L are right around the corner, but until then there is still plenty to gather from the preaseason.  Of course the highlight of these games for me is the rookies and young players.

 

New Orleans

1). What will the final rotation at running back look like for the Saints?

This question is entirely and selfishly motivated. I was Mark Ingram’s biggest supporter heading into the draft and thin he is wonderful, a top ten player in the draft. I’m interested to see how his career turns out for the Saints, and I think he could have a very nice season. But on the other hand I drafted Chris Johnson in my fantasy football league and that’s looking worse and worse by the day. Though I was smart enough to hedge my bet on Chris Johnson and draft a number of running backs; Pierre Thomas just happens to be one of those running backs I took a flier on because I wasn’t sure if Johnson would play or not this season. Thomas is competing with Mark Ingram and Darren Sproles for carries in the Saints offense.

2). Can Drew Brees Cut down on his turnovers this season?

All offseason I’ve heard about a talented team that could have done big things last year if it wasn’t for their quarterback committing so many turnovers. That team was the New York Giants, and that turnover prone quarterback was Eli Manning. Little is mentioned about another big time quarterback who had a bad bout with turnovers last year. Drew Brees threw 22 interceptions last year (he threw 28 combined the previous two seasons) and also fumbled the ball 9 times, though he was lucky to only lose two. Eli Manning threw 25 INT and had 7 fumbles, but lost five. Both quarterbacks need big bounce back years.

#3 How is Cameron Jordan progressing?

Cameron Jordan was a hot commodity leading up to the draft, so hot in fact that at one point a Buffalo Bills journalist/blogger informed me that the Bills would really consider Jordan if Marcel Dareus was off the board (though it seemed more likely that they would go with Von Miller or Patrick Peterson). On draft day though he fell all the way to the latter part of the first round where he was scooped up by the New Oreleans Saints. You can always get snipets about how a player is performing in training camp practices and in preseason games, but I like to make my own evaluations and tonight will be the first time I’ll get to watch him against N.F.L. players. I’m interested in seeing how he does.

Oakland Raiders

#4 is Denarius Moore the real deal for the Oakland Raiders?

Making jokes about how Al Davis likes to draft speed is about as easy as making a Rex Ryan foot fetish joke (I’m looking at you, Wes Welker), even if it’s still fun. Well according to all of the Oakland beat reporters Denarius Moore has been the star of training camp. That doesn’t mean anything by itself, but it’s a good indication that Moore could develop into the Raiders #1 WR target, a player they hoped they had when the drafted the speed demon Darrius Hewyard Bey 7th overall in 2009. So far this presason Denarius Moore has 5 catches for 65 yards which is better than chump change, but I’m interested to see if he can really break out tonight in the preseason game that matters the most.

#5 Can the Raiders achieve consistency this year?

Being a Raiders fan has to be a frustrating experience. Who else but the Raiders could wallop their own division (swept the division with a 6-0 record last year), only to win two other games the entire rest of last season. And that’s even more shocking when you consider they played the N.F.C. West. The Raiders should have been in the playoffs last year. Will they find that consistency this year and end their playoff drought? I’m one who believes that the Raiders are a very talented football team and that Al Davis problem is less with scouting and more with a capricious nature. If the Raiders could find stability at the coaching and quarterback positions, I truly believe they’d be a force to be reckoned with.

#6 How will the Oakland Raiders offensive line shake out?

Tonight’s game will probably go a long way in deciding how the Raiders offensive line will line up to start the season. There are a lot of young players vying for starting spots. Last year’s freak of nature pick Bruce Campbell (a player I actually thought was better than just an athlete paying football. I think he’ll be a pretty good player), has a chance to win a starting job still. The Wiz seems like a lock. Jared Veldheeer has the inside track on the starting LT spot. Will he end up with it? This will be an interesting battle to watch tonight against a pretty talented defensive line and a heavy blitzing scheme.

What are your thoughts? What are you looking for tonight?

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Tags: Cameron Jordan Denarius Moore Mark Ingram New Orleans Saints Oakland Raiders Roll Tide