NFL 2015 Preseason: Week 3 Raiders Recap

NFL 2015 Preseason: Week 3 Raiders Recap

The Oakland Raiders hosted the Arizona Cardinals in the third preseason game for each team.

This is as close to a regular season as it gets, since the fourth game is usually just a tuneup.

The Cardinals did get the ball first, but on the fourth play from scrimmage Carson Palmer was intercepted by Nate Allen. Despite starting at the Arizona 34, the Raiders only gained 3 yards and settled for a 49 yard Sebastian Janikowski field goal. Despite Derek Carr hitting Michael Crabtree for 6 yards on first down, the running game never got going. Latavius Murray lost 3 yards on his first carry and never got going.

The defense got going from the get go, and kept going. Palmer did connect with Larry Fitzgerald for a 26 yard gain, but on 3rd and 1 from the Oakland 32, Khalil Mack forced a fumble that led to a 4 yard loss. Chandler Catanzaro missed the tying field goal from 54 yards out.

Despite starting on their own 44, the Raiders lost 2 yards and punted. They got it back at the Arizona 44 and moved backwards again. However, on 3rd and 16 from midfield, Carr found Michel Rivera for an 18 yard gain. The Raiders reached the Arizona 15 but Carr threw incomplete twice. Seabass hit from 33 to make it 6-0 Raiders after the opening quarter.

The second quarter saw the Cardinals facing 3rd and 9 at their own 21. Palmer scrambled for a 10 yard gain. He went deep to Brown for a 39 yard gain. On 3rd and 10 from the Oakland 28, Palmer was sacked. This time Catanzaro hit from 53 to get the Cardinals within 6-3. The rest of the half was all Raiders, but they kept bogging down in the red zone.

A short pass from Carr to Taiwan Jones gained over 40 yards, but the Raiders settled for a 42 yard Seabass field goal and a 9-3 lead. With 3 1/2 minutes left in the half, the Raiders faced 3rd and 11 at their own 43. Carr found Amari Cooper for a 21 yard gain. From the Arizona 6, Murray lost 3 yards. Seabass hit from 28 to make it 12-3 Raiders with 1:19 left in the half.

On Arizona’s next play from scrimmage after a touchback, Palmer was intercepted again. Despite taking over at the Arizona 29, everything bogged down at the 14 as Carr threw 3 straight incompletions. Seabass’s 5th field goal from 32 yards out made it 15-3 Raiders at halftime.

Palmer was done for the night, finishing a miserable 8 of 22 for 103 yards, 0 touchdowns, 2 interceptions. He was sacked 3 times, twice by Khalil Mack.

Surprisingly, Jack Del Rio kept Carr in the game after halftime. In the third quarter Carr was in a groove, moving the Raiders from their 20 to a 1st and goal at the Arizona 9. Then Carr blundered. After a false start, he threw a terrible pass nowhere near a receiver that was intercepted and returned 81 yards the other way for an Arizona touchdown. Carr is young and talented, and he will learn in these situations to throw the ball away. His error got the Cardinals to within 15-10 with 9 minutes left in the third quarter. Carr did not come back in the game. Despite finishing on a low note, Carr was 18 of 34 for 213 yards in little more than a half of work.

Christian Ponder came into the game, the Raiders punted, and Drew Stanton came into the game. Stanton is no ordinary backup. He moved the Cardinals 80 yards in 12 plays over 6 minutes. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Stanton hit Johnson for the 8 yard touchdown to make it 16-15 Cardinals. Ponder did nothing, and Arizona turned to 3rd string quarterback Phillip Sims. Sims moved the Cardinals 59 yards in 10 plays over 6 minutes. A 10 yard touchdown pass to Williams had the Cardinals up 23-15 with just under 6 minutes left to play.

Matt McGloin came in for the Raiders and threw a series of short passes that moved them down the field to the red zone. McGloin hit Chris Durham for a 4 yard touchdown to get the Raiders within a 2 point conversion try of tying the game. McGloin fired a strike to Brice Butler and the game was tied 23-23 with 2:18 left in regulation.

A holding penalty on the ensuing kickoff backed the Cardinals up to their own 9 yard line. Fourth string quarterback Logan Thomas came in. Thomas played in the regular season last year because the Cardinals were down to their fourth string quarterback. Thomas was sacked near the goal line, but a defensive facemark penalty kept the Cardinals alive. Thomas was sacked again on the next play, and this time it stuck.

Unfortunately for the backups of the backups, they are backups of the backups for a reason. Thomas completed several passes in a row as the Oakland defense wilted. A pass to Momah saw him get belted by two defenders, bounce off of them, and continue churning well into field goal range. It never became an issue because Grice ran over the helpless backups up the middle for a 9 yard touchdown. Thomas moved the Cardinals 91 yards as Arizona retook the 7 point lead with 30 seconds left. The lead held and the Cardinals had the win.

30-23 Cardinals


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