GREEN BAY, Wis. – Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio kept his starters in longer than expected during Thursday’s exhibition, letting first units finish the first half.
“I felt like we needed the work,” Del Rio said during a halftime television interview.
The first-unit defense started slow and then righted the ship. The starting offense never got going right.
The Raiders eventually lost this one 20-12 at Lambeau Field.
Derek Carr’s group had just four first downs and three points in a disjointed effort against various incarnations of Green Bay’s defense. The starting quarterback was 9-for-13 for 38 yards with an interception.
The first-team defense got gashed by Eddie Lacy on the opening drive, a 14-play sequence which ended with a 1-yard touchdown run. That unit got better throughout the half, forcing four three-and-outs on five remaining drives.
What’s to make of all that? Not much, considering most Packers stars didn’t play, Raiders kept it appropriately vanilla and well, because it’s the preseason.
It is hard to say the offense built off the two series played Friday against Arizona. The defense might’ve, getting solid performances from Khalil Mack, Bruce Irvin and Sean Smith.
Oakland got a late touchdown when Brynden Trawick blocked Tim Masthay's punt and Nate Allen recovered the ball in the end zone. Georgio Tavecchio missed the extra point.
The Raiders made it out relatively healthy, though defensive lineman Leon Orr was got banged up late in the game. That’s an improvement over last week, when Mario Edwards Jr. and Gabe Holmes were lost to injury for extended periods.
Shuffling units: Several Raiders worked in with the starters during this game. Right tackle Austin Howard got a series with the first-unit line. Keith McGill was the second-unit strong safety over Dewey McDonald, who didn’t play well last week. Undrafted rookie Darius Latham and veterans Dan Williams and Nate Allen worked with the starting group for a series.
Jamize Olawale and Taiwan Jones were given carries after Latavius Murray was yanked following six rushes.
Sitting it out: The Raiders announced prior to Thursday’s game that three players would not participate, and no omission was a surprise. Mario Edwards Jr. (hip) and Gabe Holmes (ankle) were declared out earlier in the week with longer-term ailments. Undrafted running back Jalen Richard remains out with a knee injury. ESPN reported that he had arthroscopic surgery to repair it.
What's next: The Raiders leave Green Bay and head home for good. Training camp formally closed on Tuesday, meaning their next practice will take place Saturday afternoon at the team’s Alameda complex. The next week will be treated like a regular game week, leading up to an Aug. 27 home game against Tennessee.