AJ McCarron’s fractured collarbone throws Bills’ three-way quarterback race into chaos and opens door for rookie Josh Allen of Firebaugh to win the starting job.
of their presumptive starters and used no significant parts of their playbook, thanks in part to a weird NFL scheduling decision that forced these teams to play an exhibition three weeks before they meet in their Monday night regular-season opener in Oakland.
“I’ve never been in a preseason game like this,” Gruden said. “This is tough, in our first training camp as a football team, to have our second (preseason game) against a team we open up with.
“I don’t know in the history of the NFL if that’s ever happened.
I’m not going to sit up here and cry about it, because it’s the same for them as it is us. But we didn’t want to play our starters, and we didn’t want them to hear our audibles and hand signals. I don’t think they wanted us to get a feel for them either, so it was a strange ballgame.”
Although both coaches revealed as little about their teams as possible, McVay still relished his first chance to face Gruden, who employed McVay as a 22-year-old assistant wide receivers coach on his final staff with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008. McVay frequently cites Gruden and his brother, Jay, as major influences on his coaching style and mentality.
“Everybody knows what a huge amount of respect I have for Jon, and how great he’s been to me over the course of my coaching career,” McVay said. “(But) they were pretty regulated. Very similar in terms of the approach by both teams. Very vanilla.”
The Rams’ backups dominated the Raiders’ reserves in the first half, taking a 13-0 lead while holding Oakland to 58 yards and one first down. Oakland trailed 16-0 before mounting a rally, but the Raiders failed on their second 2-point conversion attempt of the day following Griff Whalen’s 10-yard TD catch with 9:52 to play.
“I was going to do everything humanly possible to avoid overtime today, yes,” Gruden said.
Sam Ficken then hit his second field goal for the Rams with 5:46 left.
“It’s definitely different, because it’s not their starters out there, and you want to save stuff for later,” said Rams linebacker Samson Ebukam, one of the few likely regular-season starters who played significant snaps. “You still want to do your best, though.”
The Raiders’ offense didn’t record its second first down of the day until late in the third quarter, but Warren capped the 75-yard drive with a 3yard TD run. The undrafted free-agent running back from Texas had 86 yards in his preseason debut against Detroit.
“It’s about showing I can play in the league and make the most of my opportunities,” Warren said. “I didn’t expect to play as much as I did. It was nice to get some good pops in. I was able to get some yards after contact.”