An ugly win is still a win, even in preseason, even against the backups. Expectations have to be kept in check, the playbooks are toned way down, preseason doesn’t really mean anything, and all that.
But the team is still not looking all that sharp in some critical areas. First-team D is still porous, getting picked apart even without Megatron or Reggie Bush on the field. Greg Little and Andre Holmes still keep dropping catchable passes. One of them will miss the cut at this rate.
Hopefully they keep Schaub and the first-team offense in a little longer than normal for the final two preseason matchups, in Green Bay next Friday and then home against the Seahawks on the 28th, just to see what they really have. Derek Carr and especially Matt McGloin have stepped up really nicely, playing with a sense of urgency. Not that Schaub isn’t doing those things necessarily, but maybe a little more time for the offensive starters to get in sync with each other would pay off.
And the defensive secondary needs to tighten up as well. Some of the creative blitzes that they got burned on looked somewhat experimental, and this is definitely the time to try those things out, when they don’t really count. But Tarell Brown keeps getting burned in coverage, and DJ Hayden seems to be in PUP limbo.
These preseason games are going to be a good test of whether the team is really rebuilt and cohesive, as they get progressively more challenging. First the resurgent Vikings, and last night against a Detroit team loaded with talent (though again Johnson and Bush didn’t play). The Raiders’ D will have to pull it together to face Aaron Rodgers in Lambeau, and the Seahawks’ killer D will test the rebuilt offense in a major way.