Ponder, McGloin Toss TD Passes in Raiders 18-3 Win Over the Rams


WR Andre Holmes celebrates his 3-yard TD catch from QB Christian Ponder. AP Photo.

Oakland Raiders QB Matt McGloin completed 10 of 11 pass attempts for 104 yards and a TD, RB Latavius Murray carried the ball 6 times for 35 yards, the defense made timely stops, and the team played relatively mistake-free and penalty-free football in an 18-3 victory over the St. Louis Rams in the 2015 preseason opener for both team at O.co Coliseum in Oakland. WR Brice Butler added 6 catches for 57 yards and a score.

The St. Louis Rams won the opening coin toss and elected to receive. WR Chris Givens watched K Sebastian Janikowski's opening kickoff sail over his head for a touchback. Nick Foles opened at quarterback for St. Louis as the Rams started at the 20. The Rams drove to the Raiders 13 before CB TJ Carrie broke up a would-be touchdown pass in the end zone on 3rd and 4. K Greg Zuerlein put the Rams on the board with a 31-yard field goal, which capped a 67-yard drive. St. Louis took a 3-0 lead with 12:28 left in the 1st quarter.

WR/KR/PR Trindon Holliday bobbled the ensuing kickoff and took the touchback. Derek Carr started at quarterback as the Raiders started their first drive at the 20. After a 3-yard RB Latavius Murray run, Carr connected with rookie WR Amari Cooper for the first time, a 12-yard pass for a first down. The Raiders drive stalled when Carr's 3rd and 2 pass for WR Michael Crabtree was batted away. Janikowski tied the game at 3-3 with a 44-yard field goal that capped an 11-play, 54-yard drive with 7:20 left in the first quarter.

WR Chris Givens fielded K Giorgio Tavecchio's ensuing kickoff 7 yards deep and took a knee for a touchback. The Raiders allowed one first down before DE Shelby Harris dropped Foles for a 14-yard loss on 3rd and 4. P Johnny Hekker came on to punt. After a delay of game call on the Rams, Holliday returned Hekker's 59-yard punt 22 yards to the Oakland 42. A 10-yard holding penalty on the Rams during the kick tacked 10 yards onto the end of the return and the Raiders started at the Rams 48.

After a 15-yard pass to Crabtree, the veteran receiver drew a facemask penalty moving the Raiders to the Rams 18. The Raiders drive ended when CB Trumaine Johnson picked off a Carr pass intended for Cooper in the end zone. The Rams started their next possession at the 20.

Case Keenum took over at quarterback for the Rams. The Rams drove just past midfield before the Raiders came up with the stop on 3rd and 9. Hekker's punt bounced into the end zone for a touchback and Christian Ponder entered the game at quarterback for the Raiders.

Ponder went up tempo and utilized the running of RB Trent Richardson and precise passes to rookie TE Clive Walford and WR Brice Butler to set up 1st and goal at the 8.  On 3rd and goal at the 3, Ponder hit WR Andre Holmes with a quick strike for the touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good as Ponder completed his pass to WR Kenbrell Thompkins, but Thompkins didn't cross the goal line. The score gave the Raiders a 9-3 lead with 5:50 left in the 2nd quarter. The TD pass capped a 10-play, 80-yard drive. Head Coach Jack Del Rio challenged the ruling on the field that the conversion was no good. The call stood leaving the score 9-3.

WR Damian Williams fielded Tavecchio's ensuing kickoff 3 yards deep and ran it out, and was dropped at the 12 by LB Gary Wilkins. The Rams drive stalled with 1:49 left in the 2nd quarter and Hekker came on to punt on 4 and 14 at the St. Louis 37.

The Raiders started at the Oakland 41. The Raiders drove to the Rams 45. On 4th and 8, Ponder's pass for WR Brice Butler was intercepted at the St. Louis 32. The Raiders took a 9-3 lead into the locker room at half time.

RB Taiwan Jones returned Michael Palardy's opening kickoff of the 2nd half to the Oakland 22. Matt McGloin opened at quarterback for the Raiders.  Tavecchio capped a 9-play, 56-yard drive with a 39-yard field goal, which gave the Raiders a 12-3 lead with 10:17 left in the 3rd quarter.

WR Daniel Rodriguez returned the ensuing kickoff 23 yards to the 14. Palardy's 48-yard field goal was no good and the Raiders took over at the 38 with 2:07 left in the 3rd.

McGloin hit WR Brice Butler for a 16-yard catch and run for the touchdown to cap a 9-play, 62-yard drive. The two-point conversion pass attempt to WR Kris Durham was knocked away and the Raiders led 18-3 with 12:15 left to play.

Tavecchio's ensuing kickoff flew out of the end zone for a touchback. Austin Davis took over at quarterback for the Rams, down 18-3. LB Josh Shirley came on a blitz and hammered the ball loose from Davis and DT Stacy McGee recovered for the Raiders. The officials overturned the call and ruled Davis down by contact. The Raiders forced a punt. WR Austin Willis called for and made a fair catch of a Palardy punt at the Oakland 25. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against the Raiders backed them up to the 13.

Cody Fajardo entered the game at quarterback for Oakland. The Raiders drive stalled and P Marquette King came on for the first Oakland punt of the night. Rodriqguez returned the 50-yard punt 5 yards to the ST. Louis 17. Sean Mannion entered the game at quarterback for the Rams.

The Rams drove to the Raiders 35 before the Silver and Black came up with a 4ht down stop and took over on downs with 1:24 left to play.

Fajardo took a knee twice to run out the clock and secure the victory. The Raiders improve to 1-0 on the preseason and head to Minnesota next week to take on the Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium.

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