NFLSports

Raiders preseason win over Rams signals sign for optimism

Courtesy of Oakland Raiders
Courtesy of Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders defeated the St. Louis Rams 18-3 in their preseason opener Friday night at the O.co Coliseum in Oakland.

Raiders fans have long been waiting for the team to turn around their disastrous decade (Oakland has the least number of wins over the past 10 seasons), and if Friday’s match is any indication of what the 2015 season has in store, then fans will surely have a lot to cheer for.

Second year quarterback Derek Carr started under center for the Raiders and instantly looked comfortable with rookie wideout Amari Cooper, who they selected fourth overall from Alabama.

Carr completed 6-of-9 attempts for 43 yards and an interception, with Cooper catching three of those passes for 22 yards. Cooper had the chance to begin his NFL career with a touchdown, but Carr’s pass was picked off in the endzone by Trumaine Johnson. Even with the interception, Carr was happy that they were able to connect on some passes.

“It was awesome,” Carr said in an interview with ESPN. “I knew I wanted to get him some touches. I want to get him as many as we can in the preseason. That way he just gets the feel for it and all those things.”

The Rams were the first to get on the board with a 31-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein on their first drive of the game. The drive was led by the newly acquired quarterback Nick Foles, who they traded quarterback Sam Bradford for from the Philadelphia Eagles. Foles would finish his day 3-5 and 69 yards.

After that drive, St. Louis would struggle to find consistent offense as the Oakland defense held them scoreless for the rest of the game.

The Raiders answered back with a 44-yard field goal from veteran Sebastian Janikowski to even the game.

Oakland took their first lead of the game right before halftime when backup quarterback Christian Ponder found Andre Holmes for a short three yard touchdown pass.

The Raiders extended their lead to nine with the opening drive of the second half. After a 56-yard drive, Giorgio Tavecchio kicked it through the uprights from 39 yards out.

Oakland capped off the scoring for the game early in the fourth quarter when third string quarterback Matt McGloin connected with receiver Brice Butler for a 16-yard touchdown.

The Rams’ first round pick, running back Todd Gurley, did not play as he continues to recover from a knee injury that he suffered while he was still at Ohio State.

McGloin led the Raiders in passing yards with 104 on 10-of-11 passes, while Case Keenum racked up 83 passing yards for the Rams on 12-of-17 attempts.

Latavius Murray led the Oakland rushing attack with 35 yards on six rushes, while no Rams running back broke 20 yards.

Butler led the receiving corps for the Raiders with 57 yards, while Chris Givens tallied 36 yards for the Rams.

The Raiders will next face the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday, Aug. 22, while the Rams’ next tuneup match is against the Tennessee Titans on Aug. 23.

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