The first preseason game is in the books for the Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Rams. The first half was more of a defensive game with not many offensive starters playing for either team. The Raiders had the edge 7-3 to end the first half and would’ve put up more points if it weren’t for a couple of bad turnovers. The second half was more of the same as the Raiders scored one touchdown and shut the Rams out. The final score was Raiders 14, Rams 3. It’s still just the preseason, but it’s a solid win for the team. Though many starters didn’t play there were still some notable takeaways.
The Team Is Saving Their Starters for Later
Not wanting to risk many of the veterans, the Raiders made the decision to let most of the starters sit this game out. Derek Carr, Tyrell Williams, Gareon Conley and Rodney Hudson were among the 27 Raiders that didn’t suit up. Most of these guys got plenty of reps against the Rams at last week’s joint practice, so they didn’t really need to play.
Antonio Brown was a no show as he’s currently dealing with an issue involving his helmet. According to The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, Brown should be joining the team soon. He’s caused an unnecessary distraction over the last couple days and the Raiders hope to have it resolved soon. More starters will likely participate in Thursday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals.
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Peterman Has Edge Over Glennon
It seemed like Mike Glennon had the edge over Nathan Peterman in the battle for Derek Carr’s primary backup spot heading into this game, but that may change after both of their performances. Glennon started strong and led the Raiders to a touchdown on their first drive. It was downhill from there as Glennon threw two bad interceptions. Glennon isn’t known for throwing a ton of picks, so that has to be concerning for the team.
Peterman is known for throwing interceptions, but he was sharp in the second half. His most notable play was a 50-yard run that eventually set up his touchdown pass to Keelan Doss. It’ll be interesting to see who the Raiders have playing number two behind Carr when they play the Cardinals on Thursday.
Defense Looks Sharp
Reports out of the Raiders’ joint practice with the Rams was that the defense didn’t show up very well. The defense held the Rams to only three points in the first half. Yes, the Rams didn’t play Jared Goff or Todd Gurley, but the Raiders did what they were supposed to do to keep LA from scoring. The Rams didn’t muster up a single point in the second half as the Raiders continued to stifle their offense. It’s a strong showing from a unit that struggled greatly last year.
Arden Key and Maurice Hurst played a surprising amount of snaps and were both in the game during the fourth quarter. This could be a good or bad thing for their statuses. If the Raiders thought they were going to be big players in the regular season, the coaches probably would want to limit their snaps. It’s definitely a situation to monitor. Key put up an impressive sack early in the game, so that should bode well for his status.
Rookies Are Coming Along Nicely
Unfortunately, rookie running back Josh Jacobs didn’t make an appearance and cornerback Isaiah Johnson left early due to injury, but a lot of the other rookies had some chances to shine. Clelin Ferrell made a couple of nice plays in his first NFL action.
Safety Johnathan Abram was surprisingly quiet, but that’s probably a good thing. It means that Abram didn’t do anything to screw up. Cornerback Trayvon Mullen made a notable pass breakup and didn’t seem to give up any big plays. He could be a really interesting option for the Raiders at cornerback. Defensive end Maxx Crosby got the start opposite Ferrell and he made a couple of tackles. He’s another player that could see his role expand as the season goes on. We also can’t forget to shout out undrafted wide receiver Keelan Doss, who caught one of the Raiders’ two touchdowns. He might have a chance at sneaking a spot of the Raiders roster.