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Raiders rookie report: Season-high 12 rookies play major role in win over Cardinals

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NFL: Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

You will rarely see any team field as many rookies as the Raiders did on Sunday. They had 12 rookies play meaningful snaps. Many of whom made big plays that led to the team putting up their second win of the season 24-21 over the Cardinals.


  • Kolton Miller
  • P.J. Hall
  • Brandon Parker
  • Arden Key
  • Nick Nelson
  • Maurice Hurst
  • Johnny Townsend
  • Marcell Ateman
  • Saeed Blacknall
  • Trent Sieg
  • Daniel Carlson
  • Jason Cabinda



Kolton Miller

Miller sprained his knee for the third time this season. Before he did that, he gave up a sack, a pressure that led to a sack, and a couple run stuffs. Afterward, he gave up a run stuff for a loss. He did have a few nice blocks as well including on Jalen Richard’s 30-yard run to start the third quarter. They would score on a field goal on that drive.

Miller suffered his first knee injury in week four against the Browns. He was not great before that, but he was always expected to be a project. He was certainly better than he has been since injuring his knee, so at this point it’s difficult to judge his long term prospects.

P.J. Hall

Hall had his best game of the season against the Cardinals. He got consistent pressure including on third down to force a punt. He also had a couple run stuffs.

Brandon Parker

Easily Parker’s best game of the season. He didn’t allow any pressures and opened a lot of holes in the run game in an overall good day on the ground for the Raiders.

Arden Key

For all the talent Key showed in training camp against the Raiders’ tackles, he has been ineffective in games. The Cardinals were about as easy an opponent as Key will see this season in regard to pass protection and he able to get a couple pressures out of it. He also missed several tackles including on two huge plays, the second one luckily being called back by a holding.

Nick Nelson

For the third straight week, Nelson’s snap count went up. This week he played 30 snaps (56%). It wasn’t a great outing as he gave up a touchdown and was blocked easily on two long plays — a 59-yard touchdown off a bubble screen, and a 53-yard run that set up the Cardinals last touchdown.

Maurice Hurst

Hurst now has sacks in consecutive games. He once again was the only Raiders defender to get a sack. This time going from tied for the team lead in sacks (3.0) to taking sole possession (4.0).

Johnny Townsend

After a career best game averaging 54.0 yards per punt against the Chargers, Townsend came back to earth. Though not down to the pit he had been in the first half of the season. He punted eight times including some that netted 18 (TB), 27, 35, 39, and 40 (TB) averaging 35.4 net yards per punt.

Marcell Ateman

In his first game as a Raider, the 7th round rookie started and led the team with 50 yards receiving. 32 of those yards came on the critical final drive to win it. The Raiders needed him with all the injuries at receiver and he stepped up. From zero (games active) to hero.

Jason Cabinda

Saw just 20 snaps in the game, finishing with just 2 tackles.

Saeed Blacknall

Blacknall was called up from the practice squad and was activated for the game. His one contribution was laying a key block to help spring Seth Roberts for his 20-yard screen catch and run to set up the game-winning field goal. He has since been waived and placed back on the practice squad.

Trent Sieg

All conditions normal for Sieg. No news is good news for the long snapper.

Daniel Carlson

Your Special Teams Player of the Week. Carlson connected on all three of his field goal attempts as well as his two extra points. His field goal makes included a career-high 49-yarder and the game-winning 35-yarder.

It was a great week for a few Raiders rookies. Namely PJ Hall, Brandon Parker, Maurice Hurst, Marcell Ateman, and Daniel Carlson. They were huge in pulling out the win.