The Oakland Raiders edged the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1 of the preseason, but can’t afford to rest on their laurels, especially against the New Orleans Saints – even a Saints team which only barely squeaked by the Kansas City Chiefs.
Here are three things on the line for these two clubs when they collide tonight at 8pm EST.
1) While Matt Flynn didn’t do anything wrong or badly last week, he didn’t wow anyone either. Nobody is really sure what Flynn can do – we didn’t get a sign in Seattle with the Seahawks and so far it hasn’t been anything to knock anyone’s socks off with the Raiders. So what can Flynn really do? And will we have to wait until Week 1 of the regular season to find out?
2) There is supposed to be a battle between Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram for the No. 2 running back spot, but Thomas has been hurt. He was ahead of Ingram on the depth chart but if he doesn’t play Friday night, he’ll slip behind Ingram. Assuming, that is, Ingram has another solid day (he averaged 4 yards per carry last week, totaling 12 yards).
3) Moving back to the quarterback position for the Raiders – who would you rather have as backup, Terrelle Pryor or Matt McGloin. Pryor has worked hard this offseason and it shows, though he is still very raw. Meanwhile, McGloin had a very solid game last week and while he lacks the excitement Pryor brings to the table, he might be more reliable. The winner here could push Matt Flynn this season if Flynn is underwhelming.
Andrew Garda is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association. He is also a member of the fantasy football staff at Footballguys.com and an NFL writer at Bleacher Report. You can follow him at @andrew_garda on Twitter.