NFL 2019 Preseason: Week 4 Raiders Recap

NFL 2019 Preseason: Week 4 Raiders Recap

Although the Oakland Raiders were 3-0 in the preseason, there was plenty of reason for concern heading into the regular season opener. The starters had barely played any preseason snaps. Wide receiver Antonio Brown played none due to his helmet temper tantrum, but more bizarre circumstances affected the rest of them. 

Normally the starters sit out Week 1 and play a little in Week 2. That went according to plan. Week 3 is when the starters normally see significant action. However, the Week 3 matchup between the Raiders and Packers featured a field in Canada that was not ready for NFL primetime. Both teams sat out their starters. Derek Carr, Josh Jacobs and the rest of the starters were definitely not going to play in Week 4, when most starters sit anyway. Carr and Jacobs were on the field for one drive in Week 2 that took 6 plays.

Jon Gruden was clearly using the preseason to look for depth in the form of quality backups. The battle between Mike Glennon and Nathan Peterman to back up Carr was a critical one. Glennon was clearly the more experienced passer, but Gruden was desperately pulling for Peterman to succeed. 

The final preseason contest had the Raiders traveling to Seattle to face the Seahawks. With Russell Wilson in street clothes, Geno Smith got the start for the Seahawks. Smith made it look easy, needing only 5 plays to go 73 yards. A 39 yard bomb from Smith to Wright made it 7-0 Seahawks. Mike Glennon led the Raiders from their 25 and completed passes to Marcel Ateman for 22 yards and to Hatcher for 15 more. The drive died at the Seattle 25 but Daniel Carlson hit a 43 yard field goal to get the Raiders within 7-3. The Raiders got the ball back at their own 31 and Glennon led a 14 play drive that ate up nearly 7 minutes. On 4th and 1 from the Seattle 26, Gruden went for it. Brown gained 2 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the Seattle 15, Glennon hit Hatcher for 5 yards. On 4th and goal at the one, Gruden went for it again. In an example of terrible play calling, the decision was made to go finesse rather than pound the rock. Glennon was sacked for a 9 yard loss.

In the second quarter the Seahawks took over at their own 48. Smith went deep to Ferguson for a 41 yard gain. On 3rd and 10 from the Oakland 11, Smith went to Hollister for the score. The Seahawks led 14-3, and Gruden was not happy with his backup defense. Glennon was done for the night. Peterman played the final 3 quarters knowing that this game was about him making the team. Down by 11 from their own 25, the Raiders got going. Brown ran for 18 yards and Peterman hit Keylan Doss for 25 more. On 3rd and 11 from the Seattle 34, Peterman found Hatcher for 10. On 4th and 1 from the Seattle 24, Gruden played it safe this time and went for the field goal. From 42 yards out, Carlson was no good. The Raiders got it back at their own 27 with 4 minutes left in the half. Defensive penalties held the Raiders along, including on a 3rd and 13 completion that came up a couple yards short. On 3rd and 3 from the Seattle 4 yard line, a short pass from Peterman to Butler only gained 2 yards. On 4th and 1 from the 2 with 3 seconds left in the half, Gruden again played it safe. Carlson hit from 20 as the Raiders trailed 14-6 at halftime. In the third quarter the Raiders began a drive at the Seattle 47. Yet near the goal line the Raiders again couldn’t get the job done. On 2nd and goal at the 3, Brown lost 2 yards. Then Peterman threw incomplete. Carlson hit from 23 to get the Raiders within 14-9.

Late in the third quarter, the Raiders got it back at their own 31. Peterman had been managing the game effectively, but this time he was sacked for a 9 yard loss and fumbled. The Seahawks recovered at the Oakland 26. The defense held Seattle to a field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter as the Seahawks led 17-9.

With 4 minutes left, the Raiders began their last drive at their own 45 yard line. Peterman came alive as he hit Butler for gains of 6 and 5, Doss for 14, and Rico Gafford for 9 more. After a defensive unnecessary roughness penalty, Peterman went back to Gafford for 9 yards. At the 2 minute warning, the Raiders faced 2nd and 1 from the Seattle 2 yard line. Getting that last yard had been a problem all gain.. Butler got the carry and got stopped stoned cold. On 3rd and 1 Butler got the carry again and lost a yard. With 1:47 left in the game on 4th and 2 from the 3 and the Seahawks smelling pass, Butler got the carry again and got the 3 yard touchdown. The Raiders needed a 2 point conversion to tie the game. A false start moved them back to the Seattle 7 yard line. Peterman was then sacked to deny the Raiders the tie. Seattle’s 3rd string quarterback took a few knees in the Seattle rain as Pete Carroll’s squad got the victory. 

Despite the loss, Peterman made the team as the 3rd string quarterback behind Carr and Glennon. Unfortunately for Peterman, he was then placed on injured reserve a few days later. He might be eligible to return to the team after the season is half over. The Raiders brought in DeShone Kizer as their new third string quarterback. Despite playing well, the backup receivers were cut from the team as Gruden and General Manager Mike Mayock chose experience at the position over youth. Gabbard was cut. So was Hard Knocks standout Doss. Despite clearing waivers and being offered a practice squad spot, the hometown Alameda native Doss chose to join the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad. Even Ateman, who played well in several games last year, was cut. 8 of the 9 draft picks made the team, and the 9th one might still make the practice squad. 

The preseason is now over. The Raiders from Thursday night had 11 days to prepare for their regular season opener hosting the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football. Despite ending the preseason on a loss, the Raiders went 3-1 in the preseason. The starters are very well rested and healthy. Now, as Gruden says, they just have to “f-in execute.” 17-15 Seahawks


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