The Silver and Black played a home game in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada tonight, ultimately beating the Green Bay Packers 22-21 on a last-second field goal at IG Field.
The third preseason game had a little bit of everything; here are five observations from the Thursday night tilt at IG Field.
1. The field presented an interesting challenge
Well, Thursday night’s game in Winnipeg was certainly a memorable one.
After concerns arose regarding a portion of the end zone where the Winnipeg Blue Bombers goal posts were located, the preseason matchup was ultimately played on a reconfigured field.
In lieu of going the full 100-yards, Thursday’s game was played on an 80-yard field with the 10-yard line functioning as the goal line for both squads.
Additionally, there were no kickoffs, as each team started with possession at their own 15-yard line following scores.
Now, did that reconstructed field result in more points being Thursday night? I’m not sure about that, but it did provide some unique quirks to the Silver and Black’s third preseason game.
2. We saw both Glennon and Peterman go to work.
Color me shocked, but we didn’t see Derek Carr Thursday night at IG Field.
Instead, Mike Glennon got the start – his second in as many weeks – although No. 7 didn’t quite replicate the performance he had last week in the desert.
Instead, during his one quarter of work, Glennon completed four of his nine attempts for a modest 38 yards, but in his defense, the Raiders ran the ball heavily during his time under center.
Following his exodus from game action, third-string quarterback Nathan Peterman went the rest of the way on the reconfigured field, completing 23 passes, good for 210 yards and two touchdowns.
Now, did Peterman do enough to supplant Glennon as Derek Carr’s backup? I’m not too sure about that just yet, but he’ll have one more chance to make his case to Coach Gruden Thursday night in Seattle.
3. Welcome back, Keith Smith
We haven’t seen much of the veteran fullback this preseason – in fact, after missing most of training camp, Smith passed his physical just last week.
Regardless, No. 41 made his return in a big way Thursday night against the Packers, hauling in a five-yard pass from Nathan Peterman for the Raiders first touchdown of the evening.
At his best, Smith is not only a valuable cog in the run game, but a quality asset as a receiving threat as well, and he certainly appeared to be that Thursday night in Winnipeg.
Undrafted rookie Alec Ingold has enjoyed a quality start to his NFL career, but with his play Thursday night, Smith showed that he’s still the big dog in the yard with the Silver and Black.
4. Keisean Nixon kept the momentum going
If you’re an undrafted dude trying to make the 53-man roster, you have to stack good days – and games – together, and that’s precisely what cornerback Keisean Nixon has done as of late.
After a quality run of practices headed into the team’s Preseason Week 2 game against the Arizona Cardinals, Nixon played well in the desert, then followed it up with another nice stint Thursday night at IG Field.
He was tested early and often during his time on the field, but give the former South Carolina Gamecock some credit, he held up in coverage, even tallying a pass defensed before his time on the field came to an end.
Without fail, each year an undrafted guy comes out of nowhere to earn a spot on the 53-man roster. Could Nixon be that player in 2019? We’ll find out.
Head north of the border to Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada and check out photos from the Raiders' preseason matchup with the Green Bay Packers at IG Field.
5. The wide receivers group showed off its depth.
Without Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams, Dwayne Harris, and Hunter Renfrow suiting up against the Packers, the wide receivers a little bit further down the depth chart got a chance for some extended action in Manitoba.
Starting with Rico Gafford and De’Mornay Pierson-El, Edgar Bennett’s group – from top to bottom – flashed their skill all evening, even under some less-than-ideal circumstances.
Another guy who had a really nice night at the office? Undrafted rookie Keelan Doss who continued to make his bid for a spot on the Raiders’ final roster.
In the span of just one year, the Silver and Black have completely retooled their wide receiving corps, and with that upgrade, there will be some very difficult decisions for General Manager Mike Mayock and Head Coach Jon Gruden in the coming weeks.