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Raiders rookie report: Down week for rookie crop

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NFL: Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

From the highly talented LA Rams in the opener to the elevation in Denver to the high humidity in Miami. The rookies are getting tested in many ways early in the season. Here’s what they did in week three against the Dolphins


  • Kolton Miller
  • Arden Key
  • Maurice Hurst
  • Johnny Townsend
  • Trent Sieg


  • Nick Nelson
  • PJ Hall (ankle injury)
  • Brandon Parker

Kolton Miller

The top pick had two admirable outings in the first two weeks. He showed some issues in the run game, but held up well in pass rush. He didn’t have to face former Rams pass rusher Robert Quinn in the opener. He was traded to Miami, so their meeting would wait until week three. Quinn bested Miller on several occasions in this one.

On the very first play, Quinn set the tone by getting by Miller to put a hit on Derek Carr for an incompletion. Quinn got around Miller again early in the fourth quarter, and Carr managed to slip the sack just enough to get the ball away and it was nearly intercepted.

Miller also gave up a few run stuffs and had a couple penalties, including a false start on third and goal at the 2-yard-line. The first overall poor outing for him.

Arden Key

Each game Key looks like he’s so close to getting home for his first sack. He gets pressure and has made a few hits on the quarterback, but has yet to make a significant impact. He had two QB hits in Miami, bringing his season total to four. He also had a couple run stops, which is another area we have been looking to see him improve.

Maurice Hurst

He got his first sack in week two in Denver. He got at least one good pressure in Miami, and hit Tannehill as he threw, but was flagged for a complete bullshit roughing the passer penalty. There have been a lot of those bullshit roughing the passer penalties this season. Hurst is the latest to fall victim to the new QB two-hand touch football rules.

Johnny Townsend

I’ll just quote myself from this week’s Ballers & Busters for him (he was a Buster by the way):

In every game this season, Townsend has had a dud punt when the Raiders needed him to pin the opponent back. In the opener, he had a 35-yard punt that put the Rams at the 42 and set up the go-ahead touchdown. Last week it was a touchback for a 29-yard net and the Broncos drove for the game-winning field goal. This week it was a 25-yard shank that put the Dolphins near midfield to set up the go-ahead touchdown. He is now 24th in the league in punt average (43.5), 20th in net average (40.3), and 26th in punts inside the 20 (3).

Trent Sieg

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

All in all, it was a down week for the rookies. Another rookie inactive, and Miller and Townsend having poor performances. Key continues to show promise as does Hurst.