Oakland, CA – The Oakland Raiders opened the preseason at the O.Co Coliseum. While most anticipated a good match-up, this game was nothing more than guys playing for a roster spot. The Raiders looked good throughout all four quarters and bested the Dallas Cowboys 19-17 for their first win to kick off the NFL season.
“I was pleased with the way we played,” said Oakland’s head coach Dennis Allen. “We were able to move the ball pretty well and effectively. I think the quarterbacks have done some good things. Obviously, the turnovers, that’s something we don’t want to have, so we have to correct those mistakes.”
Newly acquired quarterback Matt Flynn got off to a rocky start when he got sacked by Sean Lee and fumbled the ball in the first quarter. Flynn connected with three receivers but failed to get in the red zone. Forced to kick a field goal, Sebastian Janikowski tied the game 3-3 with a 51-yard field goal.
“It’s good to get your feet wet a little bit, see a different color helmet and really just play the game,” Flynn said. “We did a pretty good job. I didn’t have much time out there but that’s how it goes in preseason.”
The Raiders used the rushing game early, then switched to a passing game when back-up quarterback Terrelle Pryor checked in the second quarter. Tony Romo found Dez Bryant twice moving the ball quickly down field with minutes left in the first quarter.
Romo remained in the game to start the second near first and goal. But Oakland’s defense forced them to kick a field goal and Tyvon Branch blocked it for the turnover.
“We have a bunch of veteran guys that all have a chip on their shoulder,” said Branch. “So everyone that we have out there just wants to prove themselves and that’s a great defense to be on.”
Pryor was more successful in moving the offense in a timely manner. He completed three passes for 54 yards in the final minutes to set up a field goal.
Terrelle opened the drive with a 13-yard read option on his first play. The athleticism he displayed was far more exciting than last season. He finished 6-for-10 for 88 yards and a interception. A poor decision that led to a pick in the end zone cost him a touchdown.
“I thought today I threw the ball great and felt great, I would’ve had a perfect completion had I not thrown the ball away in the end zone,” Pryor said. “I got greedy and made a poor decision.”
Dallas scored their first touchdown in the third when Kyle Orton found Cole Beasley in the end zone for the 15-yard pass. The Cowboys lead 10-6 going into the half but the Raiders were far from done. Rookie quarterback Matt McGloin connected with Brice Butler for a 40-yard touchdown to regain the lead.
Oakland’s defense despite the injuries forced several turnovers. Headed into the fourth Dallas took a one-point lead when Joseph Randle rushed for a 1-yard touchdown. The Raiders rallied back after the defense forced a fumble on a punt return and Eddy Carmona kicked a 23-yard field goal for the lead.
With no timeouts left, Oakland held the Cowboys scoreless in the remaining minutes to secure their victory. The Raiders win is no indication that this will be the team to start the regular season. However, they are off to a good start going back into to training camp.