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NFL Preseason Recap: Oakland Raiders vs. Arizona Cardinals

Showdown in the Desert: Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals.

The Oakland Raiders traveled to Arizona to take on the Cardinals in week one of the preseason. The Raider’s offense starts off the game by ending a short series with a punt, but had a redemption drive that led to a field goal afterwards. The Cardinals starting offense comes in for one sustainable drive that led to a field goal. After drawing first blood in the game, reserves for the Cardinals start to check in. Towards the end of the first quarter, two turnovers by the Cardinal bench allows the opposing Raider bench to cash in on their mistakes for touchdowns. After the first quarter, it was all Oakland reserves for the whole game. The Arizona reserve was able to respond with one touchdown of their own, but the game was out of reach for any team to reach a significant level of urgency for preseason. Oakland controlled most of the game until the final whistle. After all the hype of making some noise this year, the Oakland Raiders take that next step by rewarding themselves with a victory. There is still some improvement for these teams to progress in, while have plenty of time for evaluation in the coming weeks. 

3 things we learned from the game:

  1. Starting offensive units come away with points in limited time.
    1. Carson Palmer was in the game for one offensive series and was able to put a field goal on the board before his departure for the Cardinals.
      1. Palmer and that high octane offense from last year picked up right where they left off by driving down the field on their first drive against an improved defensive unit for the Raiders.
    2. Derek Carr played two series, after being forced to punt on his first series, scoring a field goal as well for the Oakland Raiders.
      1. Carr and company needed an extra drive to match their counterparts.
  2. Raiders bench dominates
    1. The original starters for the Cardinals kept the Oakland first stringers in check.
      1. Arizona did not have their full starting defense on the field, as Tyrann Matheiu was unable to suit up.
      2. Raider’s retooled defense is still trying to find a way to gel together before the season starts.
    2. When both benches started to check into the game, the Raider reserves started pulling away.
      1. Matt McGloin was able to lead two drives into touchdowns after two Arizona turnovers. 
  3. Injury bug strikes
    1. Mario Edwards Jr. suffered a hip injury early in the first quarter for the Raiders, and was seen in crutches near the end of the game. The extent of the injury is unknown, so more tests will be conducted this week.
      1. Oakland at least survives a scare as team doctors remain highly optimistic for the defensive lineman’s chances for the rest of this season.
      2. Fortunately, no other injuries were recorded for the Raiders. 
    2. None for Arizona.
      1. The Cardinals were deemed lucky for not having any significant injury in their first preseason game.

Game Analysis

  1. Positives
    1. George Atkinson III helped his stock for the Raiders as he picked up two touchdowns in the game. One from 53-yards out and another from 35-yards. 
      1. For a player trying to make a statement for the team came away in a huge fashion by getting two different scores from big plays out. 
    2. Cardinals not phased out by comeback victory by Oakland.
      1. Despite losing the game, Arizona liked how they controlled the game early with their starters, and would have continued that success if their starters played the whole night.
  2. Negatives
    1. Arizona had three turnovers which lead to Raider points.
      1. Giving the ball away is the cardinal sin, it will be difficult to win games with less possessions. 
    2. Raiders had 11 total penalties for the game.
      1. Raiders have had long histories tied with penalties in games, so they have to clean up their mistakes to avoid situations of hurting yourself later.

What’s next?

  • Oakland vs. Green Bay
  • Arizona vs. San Diego

NFL Preseason Recap: Oakland Raiders vs. Arizona Cardinals

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