Raiders win on 80-yard field due to turf problems
Oh, Canada. Never again.
Because of problems with IG Field’s artificial surface in both end zones, the Raiders and Green Bay Packers played Thursday night’s game in Winnipeg on an 80-yard field.
Key players from both sides remained on the bench, and an announced crowd of 21,992 watched the Raiders beat the Packers 22-21 in what could be the last time you see an NFL team play an exhibition game on Canadian soil.
Daniel Carlson won the game with a 33-yard field goal with eight seconds remaining.
Of the 90 men on the roster, 41 didn’t play and 24 didn’t even make the trip from Alameda. That should be enough to drive home the point to those who were actually on the field not to be too secure.
Some takeaways with three of four exhibition games in the books:
No complaints from Raiders coach Jon Gruden: Yes, it was strange to play on an 80-yard field, but Gruden hinted it might not have been necessary.
“I’m not going to make a big deal about the field,” Gruden said. “We liked the field. We thought the field was perfectly ready to roll. You’ll have to ask Green Bay about that. It didn’t impact our play-calling or our evaluations. We just adapted, as they did, to the new dimensions.”
Has Mike Glennon won the job as backup quarterback?: Given that Glennon was out of the game after a quarter (he was 4 of 9 for 38 yards) and Nathan Peterman took it the rest of the way, it’s likely he’ll be No. 2 behind Derek Carr.
Not so fast, according to Gruden, who noted that he usually keeps three quarterbacks.
“I’m not going to get into anything right now other than we’ve got two pretty good quarterbacks that are competing for the No. 2 spot,” Gruden said.
Peterman had the Raiders on the verge of a tie game after a 17-yard touchdown pass to D’Mornay Pierson-El with 5:48 left, but was pressured into an interception on a two-point conversion pass. He led the Raiders on the drive that ended in Carlson’s game-winner and finished 22 of 37 for 210 yards and two touchdowns.
Keisean Nixon makes his move: Nixon, an undrafted rookie out of South Carolina, has flashed during camp at times, but elevated his play against the Packers.
Packers quarterback Tim Boyle went at him twice early on and came up snake eyes, once to Jake Kumerow and once to Trevor Davis. Nixon has good press cover skills and still probably faces tough odds to make the 53-man roster, but he’s still in the mix.
Nick Nelson struggles: A fourth-round draft pick last year, Nelson got picked on by Boyle early and often in the first half. Nelson was victimized for Boyle’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Davis, the former Alhambra High and Cal star. Then he nearly had his ankles broken on a double move by Kumerow, who scored on a 23-yard touchdown reception from Boyle.
The good news? Nelson intercepted Green Bay’s final Hail Mary attempt at a touchdown as time expired.
Defensive tackles get pressure: Maurice Hurst has had a strong camp and figures prominently in the defensive tackle rotation. That’s why it seemed strange to see Hurst penetrating early on and getting more snaps then you’d figure with so many players not dressed out. He was still on the field in the third quarter.
It probably means that as much as Gruden would have liked to sit even more players, it simply wasn’t possible.
P.J Hall, a second-round pick last year, got a much-needed second-half sack of DeShone Kizer, abusing guard Cole Madison in the process.
Anthony Rush, the undrafted free agent from Alabama-Birmingham who was dominant against the Rams and good against the Cardinals, had a “wow” snap when he beat a double team early and remains a threat to stick.