Wow, what a game that was. From being a total clown show in the first half to a barnburner in the second half, the Raiders clawed their way back from an 11-point deficit and held the Packers scoreless in the final 30 minutes. There is plenty of credit and blame to throw around, so let’s get down to business.
1) Nathan Peterman
Games like this make you forget that Nate Peterman is the worst quarterback in the history of recorded time.
Peterman was brilliant tonight, replacing the ineffective Mike Glennon and leading the Raiders to 19 points and a win, 12 of those being unanswered in the second half. GOATerman was 23/37 for 210 yards, two touchdowns including a perfect strike to Demornay Pierson-El, and was judicious with his throws earning a passer rating of 95.6. He did throw a pick on a two-point conversion, but that was a pass that was tipped in the air. Peterman is making a strong case to be kept on the roster. Frankly, the team could do worse. I scoffed when Jon Gruden said he liked Peterman, but I’m eating my words because dammit, I like him too.
2) Daniel Carlson
Remember when Sebastian Janikowski left the Raiders and the kicking game was a mess for a few weeks? Then Oakland brought in this Daniel Carlson guy and he’s been absolute nails for the team, turning a weakness into a strength. Carlson was perfect tonight, with two extra points and three field goals, ice water running through his veins. In a few weeks he’ll take on the Vikings, the team that cut bait on him after one bad week, Time for the wrath of the Norseman.
3) Keelan Doss
The Raiders have a lot of hard choices to make when they have to cut down to 53 players in two weeks. One decision which shouldn’t be hard is to keep Keelan Doss on the roster. He’s been a major bright spot for the Raiders offense this preseason, showing off his reliable hands and technically sound route running. Doss had four catches and led the Raiders with 52 receiving yards tonight.
4) Keisean Nixon
The Packers tried to go deep early and often in this game, but they didn’t have as much success as they would have liked because of Nixon. He had four pass breakups in this game and two tackles. He showed the kind of sticky coverage ability the great Raider CBs of old were known for, and that the team has lacked lately. He could be playing himself into a roster spot, especially with the suspension of Nevin Lawson looming.
1) Nick Nelson
It’s hard to imagine a worse outing for a cornerback who’s on the roster bubble than what Nelson suffered through tonight. He did make the game-clinching interception on the last play and showed some hard tackling ability, but he also looked lost in coverage and got burned for two touchdowns. He might have just sealed his ticket out of town in favor of Nixon.
2) Deshone Kizer
Talk about a player whose game didn’t translate to the NFL. At Notre Dame, Kizer was known as a strong-armed mobile quarterback. In the pros, he struggles with even basic quarterback play, and was sacked three times on key second half drives when he could have put the Raiders away with some good throws or if he’d escaped the pocket well enough. Oakland’s defense ate him for lunch, especially PJ Hall, who was a madman tonight.
3) The NFL itself
It’s been known for a while now that the Raiders and Packers were playing tonight. The game only drew 20,000 fans, and was a shitshow from stem to stern. It’s fine if you have to move the goalposts back, but did not one of the super MENSA members at the NFL offices consider what to do with the giant holes that would be left behind in the end zone? The teams had to play on essentially an Arena League field, and that cost Nate Peterman well over 50 passing yards on his quest to become the greatest preseason quarterback ever. The rationale behind playing a game in Canada is flimsy at best, but this was the sort of debacle only the NFL could whip up. Rashan Gary is probably dead now because of them.
4) The fans who paid $200 a ticket to watch this
I mean, I feel embarrassed enough watching this on my computer, let alone actually spending real Canadian loonies to be there in person. People expected starters, they expected A. A. Ron Rodgers and Derek Carr, and they got Tim Boyle, who couldn’t lead UConn to the Poulan Weedeater Bowl if he stuck Roger Staubach up his ass, and Mike Glennon who’s been cut from more teams than Josh McCown. Some poor Raider fan kid in the stands had a sign that said “We drove like a billion miles or whatever to see Derek Carr”. Yeah, the fuck you did, kid. We’re not risking Carr’s knees on this crap-ass turf for your viewing pleasure. Hope he gave you an autograph on the sidelines. It’s the least you deserve for sitting through that game.