With less than three minutes on the clock, Nathan Peterman and the Oakland Raiders had a chance to win a game, played on an 80-yard field, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Down late in the fourth quarter by just two points against the Green Bay Packers Thursday night, Peterman – who played almost the entirety of the preseason tilt at IG Field – successfully moved the Silver and Black's offense into field goal position, and gave Daniel Carlson a chance to win the ballgame in the final seconds, a chance that the Raiders second-year kicker took full advantage of to secure the team's third-consecutive win.
After the Packers defense gifted Peterman and Co., a free 15 yards that essentially got them to midfield – and practically in field goal range for Carlson on the reconfigured field – the athletic quarterback connected with Keon Hatcher on a 20-yard pass and catch that put the Raiders on the doorstep of the "end zone."
And while Peterman wouldn't get his third touchdown of the evening in the final seconds of game action, No. 3 put together a quality drive – and quality evening from top bottom – that gave his team a chance to win.
"It was just really fun, honestly, to be out there, get to compete a little bit, and almost play a full game," said Peterman postgame. "Especially there at the end, it was a fun time."
Thursday's outing was no doubt a fun one for the University of Pittsburgh product; in his longest sustained stretch as a Raider, Peterman connected on 23 of 37 passes, totaled 210 passing yards, and added two touchdowns for good measure.
It was – as of now – the crown jewel of his preseason, and his performances over the past few weeks have unsurprisingly not gone unnoticed by his head coach.
"I like Peterman," said Head Coach Jon Gruden postgame. "I've said that for a while now, and I thought he had two touchdown passes dropped today that were right on the money. Took care of the ball, didn't turn it over throughout the preseason. He's athletic. I like what he did tonight, especially late in the football game."
"He's awesome," added Keelan Doss, who hauled in four catches in the 22-21 win over the Packers. "Nate's my guy. He's a great quarterback, and you can just tell his confidence is through the roof. I can't say enough nice things about him. He's making plays, obviously."
Doss is indeed correct; throughout the preseason, Peterman has made plays with both his arm and his legs and shown once again that he deserves a spot on an NFL roster.
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.
"Nate's a baller," explained Keith Smith. "He gets a lot of criticism from everywhere, just from his past, and really, Gruden says it, eff everybody who doubts Nate, because Nate has everything you need to be a good quarterback, and you saw that tonight."
Thursday's outing – the last drive in particular – demonstrated what Peterman can be at his best, a calm, collected presence in the huddle, capable of leading an offense down the field when a score represents the difference between a win and a loss.
With Derek Carr firmly entrenched as the team's starting quarterback, the battle between Peterman and Mike Glennon for the right to backup No. 4 has gone throughout training camp and the preseason, and while last week in Arizona belonged to Glennon, Thursday night belonged to Peterman.
And although there is just one preseason game left before roster reductions are due, Peterman will approach next week's game against the Seattle Seahawks the same way he always does.
"Go out and compete," Peterman explained. "That's what's awesome about this game, just having fun, going out there competing, and trying to get wins whether it's regular season or preseason."
Peterman earned his team a win Thursday night in Winnipeg, in large part to what he orchestrated on the final drive of the game.
"My goal is to just go out there and compete, and do my best, have fun with it, and obviously, you're trying to put your best foot forward," he explained. "So I thought there were some good things today, and things to get better, as always."