sfgate.com photo: In this June 11, 2019, file photo, Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown is shown during an NFL football minicamp in Alameda, Calif. The Raiders and their big personalities like Antonio Brown and Richie Incognito are ready to be stars on HBO’s “Hard Knocks.”
By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
OAKLAND — The NFL exhibition season is nothing more than drinking non-alcoholic beer. You’ll be satisfied momentarily by the buzz it creates but in the end, you’re sober again looking for another fix.
With roster spots up for grabs, the first exhibition game can go a long way in determining a player’s long-term future with a football team.
With many of the starters for both the visiting Los Angeles Rams and Oakland Raiders, including starting quarterbacks Jared Goff and Derek Carr respectively not suiting up, Oakland defeated Los Angeles, 14-3, in the exhibition opener for both teams at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on Saturday night.
Seven-year pro Mike Glennon, who signed with Oakland in the offseason after playing for the Arizona Cardinals in 2018, started the game for Oakland over third-year pro Nathan Peterman.
Glennon drove Oakland down the field on their first possession of the game, engineering a six-play, 70-yard drive in 2:45 resulting in a seven-yard touchdown run by backup running back DeAndre Washington for an early 7-0 lead.
But Glennon struggled overall, completing 17-of-25 passes for 200 yards to go along with two interceptions. Glennon’s second interception came in the red zone with Oakland driving down the field.
On the ensuing drive, the Rams would get on the board for the first time behind a 36-yard field goal by kicker Greg Zuerlein to make the score, 7-3, before halftime.
In the second half, Peterman took over the offense and quickly setup Oakland’s second touchdown of the game thanks to his 50-yard run on 3rd down-and-4 from the Raiders’ own 42-yard line moving the football to the Rams’ 8-yard line.
After a five-yard run by running back James Butler that moved the football to the 3-yard line, Peterman found reserve wide receiver Keelan Doss on an in-route for the score to make the game, 14-3, in the third quarter.
Peterman threw for 66 yards on 9-of-12 passes, and led the Raiders in rushing with 56 yards on three carries.
Second-year wide receiver Keon Hatcher, who is fighting for roster spot in a crowded wide receiver room that includes veterans J.J. Nelson and Ryan Grant, caught just two passes for a team-high 45 yards.
Nelson, who is in his first year with the Raiders after spending his first four seasons in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals, finished with 43 yards on two catches.
Grant added three catches for 32 yards.
Defensively, defensive end Arden Key recorded Oakland’s lone sack of the game. The second-year player finished tied with defensive backs Nevin Lawson, D.J. Killings, linebacker Marquel Lee and defensive lineman Anthony Rush with three tackles tonight.
Oakland held Los Angeles to just 190 yards of total offense on the night.
For the Rams, quarterback Blake Bortles started the game for Los Angeles but wasn’t impressive at all.
Bortles, who signed with the Rams in the offseason to be the primary backup to starter Jared Goff after spending his first five years with the Jacksonville Jaguars, completed just 3-of-8 passes for 50 yards on two drives before giving way to Brandon Allen (6-of-12 passing for 34 yards) and John Wolford (6-of-8 passing for a team-high 54 yards).
Rookie running back Darrell Henderson, Jr. led the team in rushing yards with six carries for 13 yards. Second-year wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge led the team with three catches for 48 yards.
The game was filled with penalties as both teams combined for 23 penalties (12 by the Rams, 11 by the Raiders).
Up next: Raiders will take on the Arizona Cardinals in the desert on Thursday night, while the Rams will host the visiting Dallas Cowboys at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum next Saturday night.