The Oakland Raiders got off to a false start to their exhibition season.
Right tackle Menelik Watson’s penalty before the first snap of the preseason opener Friday night set the tone in a 10-6 loss to the Minnesota Vikings that left the Raiders with much to work on this week.
There were 13 penalties, numerous dropped passes, missed tackles and blown coverages as the first-team offense generated just one first down on three drives and the starting defense struggled to get off the field.
“We obviously need to play better and we need to be more consistent,” coach Dennis Allen said Saturday. “But I thought there were some things we can build on.”
Matt Schaub struggled in his first appearance with the Raiders, going 3 for 7 for 21 yards and being out of synch with his receivers. Schaub was also hurt by the penalties, starting with Watson’s false start.
Schaub was also unable to overcome a facemask penalty on tight end Brian Leonhardt on the first play of the second drive and a holding penalty on left tackle Donald Penn negated a first-down pass to Andre Holmes on Schaub’s final drive.
There were also two third-down passes that tight end Mychal Rivera was unable to hold onto that could have extended drives.
“I was not displeased with Matt Schaub’s performance,” Allen said.
Oakland had one other first down wiped out by a penalty and three times extended Minnesota drives with either holding or illegal use of hands penalties on third-down incompletions.
“The penalties were the biggest thing that we had to deal with,” Allen said. “A couple of those are this year’s points of emphasis with the NFL and with the officials with defensive holding or illegal contact down the field. That’s an area that we have to get cleaned up.”
Rookie Derek Carr fared slightly better than Schaub as he was able to move the team down the field at times. But he was intercepted on a high pass off fullback Jamize Olawale’s hands and finished 10 for 16 for 74 yards.
Allen said there are no plans at this time to give Carr time with the first-team offense in the preseason.
Oakland’s only score came late in the fourth quarter on third-string quarterback Matt McGloin’s TD run.
There were a few bright spots, including a 23-yard run for Darren McFadden on his only carry and solid performances from fellow running backs Maurice Jones-Drew and Latavius Murray.
The defense generated six sacks, including a forced fumble by rookie Shelby Harris, and backup cornerbacks Chimdi Chekwa and TJ Carrie played well at times.
The Raiders have a busy week before they play their first home game of the preseason next Friday against Detroit. Oakland returns to practice on Sunday before breaking camp in Napa the following day. The Raiders will have two joint practices with the Dallas Cowboys in Oxnard on Tuesday and Wednesday before returning home for a walkthrough before the game against the Lions.
NOTES: Rookie defensive tackle Justin Ellis left the game with a head injury and his status for this week is unknown. … CB Jansen Watson also injured his toe in the game and his status for practice Sunday is up in the air.