What you see from the Raiders on Friday night will be close to the real thing.
As exhibition games go, facing the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field is a difficult assignment. The Raiders first-team defense has struggled against Matt Cassel and Matt Stafford, and now faces Aaron Rodgers.
The Raiders first-team offense, moving the ball sporadically through a 1-1 exhibition season, gets a dose of a Packers defense with Clay Matthews attacking from the right side and Julius Peppers coming from the left.
Raiders quarterback Matt Schaub believes the timing is perfect, given that the Raiders, like most NFL teams, use Week 3 of the exhibition season to simulate a regular-season game week.
"We approach it that way with our meetings, our schedule, our daily routine," Schaub said. "It's a dress rehearsal for the regular season."
In the Raiders' first two seasons under Dennis Allen, the third exhibition game has raised more concern than optimism. A year ago, the Chicago Bears moved at will and took a 27-3 halftime lead. Matt Flynn struggled as the starting quarterback (he lost the job to Terrelle Pryor) and the Raiders fell 34-26.
In 2012, although the Raiders won 31-20, Carson Palmer didn't play well and it was actually Pryor who sparked a victory with a 59-yard run and a 76-yard touchdown pass.
Schaub, the Week 1 starter barring injury, will get his most extended playing time against the Packers. Having completed 11 of 20 passes for 108 yards and an interception in seven possessions, Schaub acknowledges getting the offense rolling against Green Bay is crucial.
"It would be huge," Schaub said. "You want to go out and establish yourself as a team on the road, and there is no better place than in Green Bay, against a good team."
Schaub views the offense as a total entity working together, rather than focusing on putting the team on his shoulders and leading it down the field.
"Our offense goes how the quarterback is going to go," Schaub said. "We need to be more consistent with what we're doing."
Schaub's lone interception came on a deflected pass against Detroit. More problematic was an earlier throw that was nearly intercepted by the Lions.
Offensive coordinator Greg Olson has watched Schaub closely, looking for signs of the Houston player who had interceptions run back for touchdowns in four consecutive games last season.
"After last season, is he making the right decisions?" Olson said. "He had one ball last week where the corner dove on it and it had a chance to be intercepted. Other than that, he hasn't been forcing the ball, which is a plus."
Other areas where the Raiders will be looking at before they play a get-it-over-with fourth exhibition game at home Thursday against the Seattle Seahawks:
"We've had critical downs, third-and-6 and third-and-7, where we've got to get off the field," defensive coordinator Jason Tarver said. "We have to get better at situational football."
Given the way Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden are playing, and the ability of Jeremy Stewart on special teams, Sheets may not stick unless he wins the job from Murray to return kickoffs.
"I'd say Khalil is right on pace with where we need him to be," Tarver said.
FRIDAY'S exhibition GAME
Raiders at Green Bay, 5 p.m. CBS