COMMENTARY | It wasn't the prettiest of wins, but the Oakland Raiders left O.co Coliseum with their first victory of the season Sunday.
The Raiders controlled the ground game by compiling 226 rushing yards, and Darren McFadden led the way by averaging nearly seven yards per carry. He looked like the McFadden of old, and that's exactly what the Raiders need from him the rest of the season.
Oakland has also done a great job bringing the pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The Raiders already have nine sacks in their first two games, miles ahead of where they were last season.
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The defense has been solid thus far, and the offense is slowly finding its way.
Let's take a look at three things the Raiders must improve on:
Denarius Moore Must Get Better
Denarius Moore was supposed to be the one to lead this mysterious group of wide receivers this season. So far, he's done everything but that.
Through two games, Moore only has five catches for 43 yards and a score. He didn't even make a catch against Jacksonville, and he doesn't seem to be gelling well with Terrelle Pryor either.
Moore was only targeted twice on Sunday and dropped one of them. That can't happen.
The Raiders are still very thin at the wide receiver position, and Pryor is going to have to extend the field at some point. Teams will begin to stack the box against McFadden and make Pryor throw the ball.
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The only problem is, the guy who was supposed to be the leader of the wide receivers hasn't gotten it together.
Terrelle Pryor is Human After All
After a stunning performance against the Indianapolis Colts where he threw for 217 yards and ran for over 100 as well, Pryor looked pedestrian against the Jaguars by throwing for just 126 yards and no touchdowns.
Pryor is still an incredible talent. With more experience and instruction at the quarterback position, he is sure to be a serious threat in the NFL. But right now, he still has a long way to go and the Raiders need to help him get better.
McFadden was huge on Sunday, and that's what they need. If McFadden is being zoned in on, Pryor will have opportunities to hurt defenses with open receivers down field or burn them with his legs.
After all, he still rushed for 50 yards against the Jaguars, which is about what Ray Rice and Maurice Jones-Drew combined for on Sunday.
Pryor is still young and incredibly inexperienced. The Raiders need their other players to step up and help him out. He can't do it by himself like he did against the Colts.
Finish, Finish, Finish
The Raiders could've easily scored 30 points against Jacksonville. Between red-zone miscues and a missed Sebastian Janikowski chip shot, Oakland had to settle for just 19 points on Sunday.
And with the exception of Marcel Reece's 10-yard touchdown run in the team's opening drive, Oakland couldn't do anything in the red zone. Going 1-for-5 inside the 20-yard line against the league's worst team is not going to get you very far for very long.
If the Raiders have any chance of beating the high-powered Broncos on Monday night, they're going to have to score touchdowns. Four field goals simply will not do.
Oakland finished just 4-of-14 on third down against Jacksonville. Not good.
The defense has also yet to force a turnover in two games. Oakland has limited its two opponents to just 30 points this season, but creating turnovers will create serious momentum for the offense.
Steven Slivka is a freelance writer for the Oakland Raiders. You can follow him on Twitter @StevenSlivka.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Oakland Raiders
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Terrelle Pryor
- Denarius Moore
- Darren McFadden