Raiders Beat Rams 14-3 in Preseason Debut Amid Antonio Brown Helmet Saga

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IAugust 11, 2019

Oakland Raiders' Nathan Peterman during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)
D. Ross Cameron/Associated Press

There were a couple of Oakland Raiders debuts made Saturday night—just not Antonio Brown's.

In the Raiders' 14-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams in each team's first preseason game of 2019, J.J. Nelson caught both of his targets for 43 yards—including a game-long 38-yard catch while draped by Rams cornerback Dominique Hatfield during Oakland's opening drive.

Oakland Raiders @Raiders

Say hello to @_thajizzleman. J.J. went 🆙 for the 38-yard strike. #LARvsOAK https://t.co/qYvFzdOLuJ

According to Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Nelson had been taking advantage of Brown's dramatic absence from training camp last week because of frostbitten feet and disagreements over his helmet, and that translated into preseason Week 1.

Oakland capped off its opening drive with a touchdown by fourth-year running back DeAndre Washington on a seven-yard run up the middle:

Oakland Raiders @Raiders

Not his first rodeo. @dwa5hington does what he does for the score. #LARvsOAK https://t.co/0CKna8UW8U

Mike Glennon, who signed with the Raiders as an unrestricted free agent, started the game and went 17-of-25 for 200 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. Rookie safety Steven Parker and third-year defensive back Kevin Peterson picked off Glennon.

Perhaps the most surprising Raiders debut came from quarterback Nathan Peterman, whom head coach Jon Gruden told reporters at the start of training camp is "growing on me."

The 25-year-old third-year signal-caller darted for 50 yards on the ground, the game's longest rush, while also completing nine of 12 passes for 66 yards and a touchdown. His first touchdown pass in silver and black came on a slant route by Keelan Doss, a rookie also making his Raiders debut.

Oakland Raiders @Raiders

You can only hope to contain him. Nathan Peterman takes OFF for 51-yard scramble. 💨#LARvsOAK https://t.co/IhOkhGlHc6

Oakland Raiders @Raiders

Alameda High School's own. What a moment for @keelandoss. https://t.co/3xcDzidwD7

Glennon and Peterman are competing to be Derek Carr's backup.

In the same vein, the Rams started Blake Bortles. The 2014 third overall pick arrived in L.A. as a backup to Jared Goff on a modest one-year contract following his release from the Jacksonville Jaguars. Saturday night, Bortles completed three of eight attempts for 50 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions.

According to Rams team reporter Myles Simmons, the "vast majority" of the team's starters and "important depth pieces" weren't in uniform. Even head coach Sean McVay used the preseason to delegate his duties:

Myles Simmons @MylesASimmons

Looking at #LARams HC Sean McVay on the sideline, appears he isn’t calling plays. McVay mentioned the other day that preseason presents a chance for pass game coordinator Shane Waldron to get experience calling plays — looks like that’s happening now.

Of the Rams' rookies who got their first NFL action, second-round pick out of Washington Taylor Rapp impressed at safety:

Los Angeles Rams @RamsNFL

We see ya, @trapp07! 👏 https://t.co/5wySBqyJSN

Unsurprisingly, the same approach applied to the Raiders—because preseason football—as Brown, Carr, running back Doug Martin and wide receiver Tyrell Williams were among starters held out.

However, Arden Key, who played all 16 games and started 10 for Oakland last season, played and notched one sack.


What's Next?

Week 2 of the preseason has the Arizona Cardinals in store for the Raiders on Thursday, while the Rams will host the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday, Aug. 17.