BALTIMORE – Raiders head coach Jon Gruden believed Jordy Nelson would be able to play Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, but he wasn't sure how much time the receiver would see.
Quite a lot, it turns out.
Nelson plays 52 of 58 offensive snaps in a 34-17 loss to the Ravens, but didn't have much to show for it. He was targeted once and didn't have a catch despite all that time on the field, and lost two yards on an end around.
The veteran looked a smidge slow upon return from a bone bruise on his knee, which kept him out of last week's win at Arizona.
He was a limited practice participant leading up to Sunday's game and wasn't his usual self. Head coach Jon Gruden lauded Nelson's ability to play with a bum knee, to lead an inexperienced and unproven receiver corps.
"Jordy was not 100 percent yesterday, but I give him a lot of credit for going out there and giving us everything he had," Gruden said. "Hopefully he'll be closer to 100 percent this week. ... I credit Jordy a lot for playing 50(-plus) snaps when he wasn't at his best."
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Nelson's used to steady production, and was certainly disappointed he didn't contribute more.
"I just didn't make enough plays," Nelson said.
Nelson wasn't the only member of the passing game who struggled to produce against the Ravens' No. 2-ranking pass defense. Rookie Marcell Ateman's second NFL game didn't go as well as his first, recording just three catches for 16 yards on 10 targets.
Seth Roberts led the team with 54 receiving yards on two catches. He was targeted three times.
"It comes down to us executing and making plays," Ateman said. "We didn't do enough of that. We didn't have the ball much in the second half. We didn't feel like we had that much time."
Quarterback Derek Carr completed a tick over 50 percent of his passes for just 194 yards and a 74.9 passer rating. He didn't have much speed in the pattern outside Johnny Holton, who barely played and couldn't corral a deeper shot that was his only target.
The Raiders were credited with two drops, and struggled to complete any pass thrown more than 10 yards in the air. According to analytics site Pro Football Focus, the Raiders were 2-of-9 for 60 yards on intermediate and deep throws, showing little ability to create the separation required to complete such volleys.
"The Ravens played a lot of tight coverage, but we had some opportunities to make plays and didn't make them," Gruden said. "I know Marcell dropped one early. We challenged (a catch) later. We just didn't make the plays against a very good defensive team. That goes back to me, honestly."
Here's the complete snap count from the Raiders loss in Baltimore:
Total offensive snaps: 58
Quarterback – Derek Carr 56, AJ McCarron 2
Running back – Doug Martin 28, Jalen Richard 24, DeAndre Washington 8, Keith Smith 6
Wide receiver – Jordy Nelson 52, Marcell Ateman 47, Seth Roberts 39, Johnny Holton 5, Keon Hatcher 2.Dwayne Harris 2
Tight end – Jared Cook 32, Derek Carrier 19, Lee Smith 18
Offensive line – Gabe Jackson 58, Rodney Hudson 58, Brandon Parker 58, Kelechi Osemele 58, Kolton Miller 58, David Sharpe 10, Clinton McDonald 2, Jon Feliciano 2, David Sharpe 4, Clinton McDonald 1, Jon Feliciano 1
Total defensive snaps: 70
Defensive line – Arden Key 59, Johnathan Hankins 59, Frostee Rucker 49, PJ Hall 37, Shilique Calhoun 27, Maurice Hurst 25, Jacquies Smith 4
Linebacker – Tahir Whitehead 70, Nick Morrow 46, Marquel Lee 25, Jason Cabinda 25, Kyle Wilber 1
Defensive back – Gareon Conley 62, Karl Joseph 61, Marcus Gilchrist 59, Daryl Worley 58, Nick Nelson 45, Rashaan Melvin 18, Erik Harris 14, Reggie Nelson 8
Wilber 24, Lee 24, Harris 24, Carrier 22, Calhoun 20, K. Smith 19, Harris 18, Morrow, N. Nelson 14, L. Smith 11, Washington 9, Trent Sieg 9, Johnny Townsend 9, Gilchrist 7, Cabinda 7, Daniel Carlson 7, Key 5, Hankins 5, Holton 5, McDonald 5, Whitehead 5, Worley 4, Joseph 4, Conley 3, Feliciano 3, Sharpe 3, Parker 3, Miller 3, Jackson 3, Osemele 3, R. Nelson 1