Raiders

Raiders Edge Out Rams In Close Week 2 Preseason Matchup

Welcome to the second week of the NFL preseason! The Las Vegas Raiders visited their ‘home away from home’ to face off against the Los Angeles Rams. These two teams got together this week for some ‘spirited’ joint practices as well.

The practices were eventful. From the Hunter Renfrow ‘legend‘ to the all-out brawls that ended their sessions with Gruden in disgust. However, this game would not feature as many starters. This was a chance for fringe players like Darius Philon to further their cause. Here’s how it went down.

1st Quarter

Marcus Mariota was dressed but scratched for the game so Nathan Peterman got the start. The two teams traded three-and-outs, highlighted by an impressive tackle in the backfield by Nate Hobbs.

Hobbs blew up a receiver screen and continued his preseason dominance.

Following a Matt Gay punt that landed in Rams territory, the Raiders cashed in on a short field. After a Peterman rushing touchdown behind Alex Leatherwood was reversed, Trey Ragas got the job done on fourth and goal.

Ragas put the Raiders up by seven with a touchdown up the middle.

L.A. wasn’t able to get much going the next possession. A promising drive jumpstarted by running back Jake Funk would end in another punt.

Peterman got in a rhythm before a few failed running plays doomed the Raiders’ drive. Nick Martin got beat badly on a third-down which resulted in a punt.

Raiders 7 – Rams 0

2nd Quarter

Bryce Perkins started to cook, opening the second quarter through the ground and the air. A successful fourth-down conversion in their own territory looked like a spark.

Hobbs snuffed that out. Hobbs helped end the Rams’ drive with another blitz that forced Perkins out of the pocket and into a rushed throw. The Rams remained scoreless.

That would soon change. Not one play after the Raiders forced a punt, the Rams snatched the ball back. Peterman was picked by JR Reed on a deflected ball in Las Vegas territory.

A few plays later, Perkins let it fly. Kendall Blanton found an opening in the Raiders zone and caught a nine-yard touchdown pass to tie the game.

The Raiders lost six yards on the first play of their drive. Peterman made it all back with a 16-yard pass to DJ Turner, keeping the drive alive.

Then, the offensive line collapsed.

Peterman took two sacks in three plays to force a Raiders punt. Rams linebacker Chris Garrett completely dominated the Las Vegas offense.

A nifty display of the four-minute offense by L.A. put more points on the board. A 12-play 56-yard drive ate up the clock and cashed in a score on a Matt Gay field goal to put the Rams up by three. The drive was chippy and both teams were penalized en route to the Rams lead.

Raiders 7 – Rams 10

3rd Quarter

The Rams opened the quarter with possession. Injuries mounted up early. Malcolm Koonce and Javin White were both injured on a third-down play. White had to be helped off the field; Koonce walked off under his own power.

It was a damper on a successful defensive possession. The Raiders did their job; Tanner Muse came soaring in for a third-down sack forcing a Rams punt.

Peterman was sharp on the next drive but the Rams held strong. They kicked the ball back to the Rams, but their budding corner would right the ship.

Hobbs intercepted Perkins to regain Las Vegas possession. It was yet another game-breaking play from the upstart rookie who looks to snatch a starting job.

The Raiders offense took over seeking to cash in on the Hobbs pick. Peterman looked clean in the pocket with completions to Dillon Stoner, Matt Bushman, and Garrett Groshek.

The Raiders converted a fourth down with a Gruden classic: Spider 2 Y-Banana. The conversion was for naught after a sputter in the red zone. Daniel Carlson knocked back a 29-yard field goal to tie the game again.

Raiders 10 – Rams 10

4th Quarter

The Rams opened the 4th in style. Peterman tried to hook up with Keelan Doss down the deep sideline but Doss could not corral the ball and tipped it right to the corner.

In typical fashion, the turnover woke the Rams’ offense up in the ensuing drive. Chunk completions from Perkins got L.A. knocking on the doorstep. Gus Bradley’s defense did their job and held to a field goal attempt.

Then special teams did theirs.

Philon blocked Matt Gay’s field goal attempt and crushed what was looking to be a promising Rams drive.

The fourth quarter is when Gruden loves to unleash the run game. Emmons and Ragas took turns chewing up the defense. Peterman lit the crowd up with a shifty shovel pass to Ragas for a 23-yard gain.

Then he lit the scoreboard up with a rainbow toss to Marcell Ateman for six. A slant-and-go fooled the Rams defense and the Raiders took the lead.

Perkins wasn’t done yet though. He drove the Rams down the field with the intent to tie the game or go up with a two-point conversion. A Lamar Jackson-esque scramble by Perkins, escaping the clutches of Kendal Vickers on fourth down, set up first and goal on the Raiders six-yard line.

Jacob Harris beat Dalin Leavitt on a corner route for a touchdown and set up the game-winning two-point conversion attempt. They went back to the Harris-Leavitt matchup on a fade route.

The pass was high, and the Raiders recovered an onside kick attempt to seal the victory.

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Final: Raiders 17 – Rams 16

*Top Photo: AP Photos/D. Ross Cameron

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