Before the Raiders took the field for this game, they knew the Packers weren’t going to be fielding their best players. Most of the starters sat out the game, including Aaron Rodgers, so the Raiders would just have to see what they could get done against Brett Hundley.
With Derek Carr and the Raiders starting offensive skill position players out there for just one series, this one was another drab affair. The two teams went into the half tied at 3-3, mostly because the offenses just weren’t getting it done.
It was tied again at 6-6 early in the 4th quarter, putting everyone in danger of a preseason overtime game. But mercifully the Raiders were able to punch one in with just over five minutes left to give us our final score of 13-6.
Let’s take a look at who did themselves a favor and who did not.
Fadol Brown, Shilique Calhoun
While we talk about whether Khalil Mack will return and whether Bruce Irvin and company can pick up the slack, Brown and Calhoun don’t get mentioned. The two of them thrust themselves into the conversation Friday night.
With the score tied 3-3 early in the 2nd quarter, the Packers set up in third and 7. Then Brown came screaming around the edge while Maurice Hurst came up the middle and the two sandwiched Hundley for the sack.
Come the end of the quarter, the Packers got the ball with :53 seconds. The first play, Calhoun got pressure to force an incompletion. Next play Brown got around the edge again to get the strip sack. The Packers recovered, so on the next play, Brown got pressure again, resulting in a quick throw that was stopped for a loss by Calhoun. That 23-second series was brought to you by the law offices of Brown and Calhoun.
They were back at it to being the third quarter. The threat Brown posed caused the tackle to jump early on third and 7 to march them back into third and 12. A penalty on the next play resulted in an automatic first down, so Calhoun and Brown went back to work. Calhoun got the sack and on third and 19, Brown made the run stop to force the punt.
Late in the game, after the Raiders had taken a 13-6 lead, Calhoun had three pressures. The first pressure led to a holding penalty, the second forced the QB to step up into a sack, and the final pressure came on the final play of the game to force an incompletion.
Hester owned the third quarter. He started with a tackle for loss on the first series. He led out the third series of the quarter by showing his speed and hustle to chase down a runner ten yards downfield on a screen play and lay a huge hit on him. The next play, he kept his gap closed to force a run stop at the line. The drive would go all the way to the 3-yard-line and in fourth and goal, there were two penalties called on one offensive lineman trying to block Hester – holding and chop block. It would march them back and they would go with a field goal instead.
Hester wasn’t done though. Late in the fourth quarter, on another 4th down attempt, he broke into the backfield for a 7-yard sack for a turnover on downs. He finished third on the team in tackles (4) with a sack, tackle for loss, and a QB hit.
Chris Warren III
Three games; three times a Baller. At least he gave someone else a shot at Top Baller this week. Once again, he was the team’s rushing leader, picking up 54 yards on 15 carries.
He entered midway through the second quarter and on his second run, he broke a tackle and went for ten yards on third and 2. It was one of the best runs I’ve seen him have this preseason, showing some wiggle and elusiveness, rather than just power. Checked a box on that one.
Early in the third, he took a pitch on third and 2 and again went for ten yards to set up the Raiders go-ahead field goal. The following drive, he started with a 7-yard catch, again breaking a tackle along the way. But it was the way he ended that drive that punched his Baller ticket.
In first and goal from the one-yard line, Warren got the ball and took it through a gap at right guard. He was barreling toward the end zone where he was met by Packers cornerback Quinten Rollins. The 5-11, 195-pound Rollins was demolished by the 250-pound Warren who didn’t even lose his feet as he sent Rollins feet over head. You can see it for yourself here. More of that, please, and thank you.
It was nice to see a wide receiver lead the team in catches (4). Ateman’s best catch was one in which the corner was right there with him and he ripped the ball away for a 9-yard catch on third and four. With the drive still alive, he caught a 7-yard pass as well and the Raiders would drive into field goal range to tie it up early in the 4th.
Areman would catch a pass on a zero route in the left flat and get nine yards out of it early in the next drive. The Raiders would drive into first and goal at the 9-yard-line and EJ Manuel looked Ateman’s way to try for one of his jump ball touchdown catches. The defender interfered with him and gave the Raiders a first and goal at the one to set up Warren’s touchdown run.
The very first play for the Raiders defense, Tank burst into the backfield to disrupt the run for a tackle for no gain. A few plays later, he had another run stop. Later in the drive, in third and one, he was in the backfield again to make a tackle for a loss of two and they would settle for a field goal. Later in the quarter, with the Packers going for it on fourth and four, Carradine would get pressure and lay a hit on Hundley helping result in an incompletion and a turnover on downs.
I don’t think he gave up a catch in the game in 27 snaps (36%). Hundley looked for his receiver on 4th and 4 late in the second quarter, but Nelson had him blanketed and it fell incomplete. Twice in the third his receiver was the target and both times, Nelson was there to force the incompletion. The second time was in the end zone on third and goal.
For a couple series in the late first quarter/early second, he was showing up big time. He would get around his man to force a holding penalty to start a series. Then on third and 17, he would draw a false start. The next series, he would very nearly get his first sack and on the next series, he got in the backfield for a pressure that helped lead to a sack. He was there too, but just a hair behind Brown and Hurst, so he didn’t get the credit.
He had one catch. It was the first play of the game. Derek Carr’s pass was short, so Coop came back and leapt in the air to pull it down. Then he kept his feet and got a few more yards, ultimately picking up 49 yards on the play. No Raiders player had more receiving yards combined than Coop did on that catch. It set up a field goal to start the Raiders with the lead. And that was Coop’s day.
Maurice Hurst – Teamed up for a sack along with Fadol Brown. The first play of the next drive, his man held him to keep him out of the backfield.