In their 2019 preseason debut, the Oakland Raiders defeated the Los Angeles Rams 14-3. While the score remains irrelevant, seeing some of the depth on the team provided many with the opportunity to watch. As mentioned, wins and losses in August matter little. However, interesting tidbits abound in this game.
Granted, few will fuss over punters. Yet, their importance remains both undervalued and necessary. Rookie AJ Cole and second-year starter Johnny Townsend remain locked in a battle. During Saturday’s game, the two both punted. While the yardage remained close, Cole dropped two inside the twenty. Gruden discussed his punters.
“I think Townsend has got his hands full with A.J. Cole,” Gruden said after the game. “It’s going to be interesting down the stretch. Cole proved he could kick off, which adds to his versatility. He downed them inside the 20, I think, a couple of times. He put on a display the other day against the Rams. We haven’t seen kicks like that since [Shane] Lechler was here, or [Marquette] King.”
The Health of Derek Carr
If the Raiders need one thing in 2019, Derek Carr must play the entire season. If you look at the talent behind him, worry creeps in. Nathan Peterman, in a short sample, outperformed Glennon. That should startle anyone. Additionally, Peterman flashed some skill on a long run, then finding Keelan Doss on a nine-yard touchdown pass.
Feel Good Story
Alameda native Keelan Doss lived a childhood dream of running onto the field, suited up with the Silver and Black. Doss scored in front of his hometown crows. Doss recounted his feelings to Kyle Martin of Raiders.com
“As soon as I scored the touchdown I was pretty excited, man,” he said. “I don’t usually, for me, emotions don’t really get the best of me during the game, but during that moment it was kind of a surreal moment. I had to calm myself down again and just realize the next play is another opportunity.”
In reality, people forgot the stats shortly after the game ended. Yet, with many of the starters out, the team provided a glimpse of things to come. More importantly, football returned. The Raiders took the field. Now, we are locked in until winter.