NFL 2019 Preseason: Week 3 Raiders Recap

NFL 2019 Preseason: Week 3 Raiders Recap

The Raiders defeated the Rams 14-3 in their preseason opener. Then they jumped to a 26-0 lead over the Cardinals in a 33-26 win that was not nearly as close as the score. The Raiders led 33-13 with 4 minutes left and gave up 2 late touchdowns, including one on the final play. Now the Silver and Black traveled to Canada to play the Green Bay Packers.

The third preseason game is normally the game that most closely resembles a regular season game. The starters skipped game 1 and played sparingly in game 2. Yet conditions beyond the control of America messed everything up. 

Canada couldn’t get their field ready. It was only an 80 yard field. Moving the goalposts messed up some of the field. The league decided just before kickoff to not have any kickoffs. Each team after a score would start at their own 25 yard line, which was only 65 yards from the opposing end zone. Rather than see extensive action, Derek Carr and Aaron Rodgers were both given the night off. Tim Boyle got the start for the Packers and Mike Glennon did for the Raiders. For those desperate to make a roster spot, it was an unexpected extra opportunity to get more playing time. For fans, it gave them zero clue about how their starters will fare in the regular season.  For CFL fans used to seeing the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, it was a change of pace. Former Raiders and CFL wide receiver “Swervin” Mervin Fernandez lit the Al Davis Torch. 

The 80 yard field was confusing for the players and the announcers. The 10 yard line was actually the goal line, and the normal goal line was actually the back of the end zone. Rookie Packers head coach Matt LaFleur had to question what he signed up for. Mike McCarthy in 12 years never had to deal with an 80 yard field or Canada.

Both teams punted on their first two drives. While there were no kickoffs, there were punts. A field position game had the Raiders taking over at their own 41 with 5:40 left in the opening quarter. Daniel Carlson hit a 42 yard field goal. The Raiders led 3-0 after the first quarter, and Glennon was done for the night. 

Jon Gruden loves Nathan Peterman, and wants to see as much of him as possible. While Glennon is almost definitely Derek Carr’s backup, Gruden may keep three quarterbacks. Peterman played the final three quarters. 

After the field goal, The Packers exploded in the second quarter. From their 25, Boyle completed a 20 yard pass to Davis and soon faced 3rd and 16 at his own 39. A neutral zone infraction made it 3rd and 11. A completion picked up just enough with a facemark adding 15 more. Boyle then went deep to Davis again for a 23 yard touchdown and a 7-3 Packers lead.

Every drive after a score had the other team starting at their own 25. A 24 yard defensive pass interference penalty had the Raiders on the move. Peterman hit Keyland Doss for 18 yards and Rico Gafford for 8 more. Peterman went to Smith for a 5 yard touchdown and a 10-7 Raiders lead.

Boyle looked impressive against the Raiders backup defense, leading a 77 yard drive. From the Oakland 48, Boyle hit Davis for 20 and Kumerow for a 16 yard touchdown to make it 14-10 Packers. With 2:43 left in the half the Packers got the ball back and Boyle shredded the Oakland defense again. With the Packers facing 3rd and 11 at their own 24, Boyle hit Shepherd for 22 yards and Lazard for gains of 11 and 13. Carson ran it in from 2 yards out as the Packers took a 21-10 lead to the locker rooms. Aaron Rodgers is the best in the game, but Boyle showed himself to be a very capable backup in leading three touchdown drives in the second quarter.

The Raiders began the third quarter facing 3rd and 2 at their own 33. Peterman connected with Butler for a 30 yard gain. Carlson hit a 40 yard field goal to get the Raiders within 21-13. Boyle played the entire first half, and the first drive of the second half saw the Packers turn to third string quarterback and former Browns quarterback Deshone Kizer. He is trying to resurrect his career, although Cleveland has destroyed many quarterbacks over the last few years. Kizer began by getting sacked twice and was ineffective. The Packers got it back and moved from their 29 to a 4th and 3 on the Oakland 28. Rather than try a field goal, the preseason is a good time to go for it. Kizer was sacked for a 12 yard loss.

Peterman was unable to move the Raiders at all in the third quarter, but finally got the Raiders offense going again with 11 minutes left in regulation. Runs and short passes had the Raiders at the Green Bay 48 yard line. Peterman hit Doss for 17 yards and Pierson-El for 10 more. On 3rd and 6 from the Green Bay 7, Peterman found Pierson-El in the corner of the end zone for the touchdown. Gruden decided to go for the 2 point conversion even though nobody wants overtime in the preseason. Peterman rolled out and his pass under pressure was off the mark, bounced off the receiver, and was intercepted. The 12 plays, 75 yard, 5 minute drive had the Raiders within 21-19 with 6 minutes left. 

The Packers tried to run down the clock, but Kizer could not get a break when he tried to throw. On 3rd and 11 from their own 35, a 16 yard completion was nullified by offensive holding. On 3rd and 21 Kizer went deep to Lazard with a well thrown ball. However, on official review the ball hit the ground and a first down was changed to incomplete. The Raiders defense dodged a bullet. With 3 minutes left the Raiders took over at their own 24. It was time to see what Peterman could do with the game on the line.

Peterman hit Hatcher for 10. At the 2 minute warning, A pass for a 3 yard loss saw receive Brown get drilled. The Raiders got another break when the hit was ruled a personal foul for helmet to helmet. With 90 seconds on the clock, the Raiders were down to their last gasp facing 4th and 7 at the Green Bay 45. Then came the play that will be shown on preseason instruction videos for several reasons. This was not the Holy Roller or the Immaculate Reception. However, a lot of things happened on one play that deserve to be remembered for instructional reasons.

Peterman went deep and found a wide open Hatcher for a 25 yard gain. The Raiders were in field goal range, and all Hatcher had to do was get out of bounds or go down. There was plenty of time left. Hatcher decided to juke and gain more yards. The result was a hit that forced a fumble. If this was a regular season or playoff game, the Raider Nation would be going bonkers. Hatcher nearly went from euro to goat, but was bailed out buy a very alert teammate. Gafford fell on the ball to save the possession.Three Packers were around the ball and Gafford got their first. At this point Gruden took no chances. Butler ran three times into the line. Carlson came in for a 33 yard field goal with 12 seconds left in regulation.  

The kick was dead center, and after a Kizer Hail Mary was intercepted, the Raiders had the comeback win. For a lot of guys in this game, it will be their final football game. Cut down is coming, and rosters will be trimmed from 90 to 53 players. For every Derek Carr making $25 million per year, there are others who will never see an NFL regular season game. Those who played their final game as a Raider went out with a win. The Raiders are 3-0 in preseason. Their last preseason game is at the Seattle Seahawks, where Carr had his first preseason start and showed the world he was NFL ready. For now, the Raiders seem to have a significantly improved locker room culture thanks to Mike Mayock and Chucky. 22-21 Raiders  

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