Arizona Cardinals-Oakland Raiders Preview
By Cyle Gill
A preview of Sunday’s matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and Oakland Raiders
This week the Arizona Cardinals travel to O.com Coliseum, A.K.A. The Black Hole, to take on the Oakland Raiders. After starting 0-4 the Raiders fired head coach Dennis Allen and Tony Sparano took over as interim head coach. Even though the Raiders lost last week they put up a fight against the San Diego Chargers. Rushing for 114 yards, scoring four touchdowns, and allowing no sacks. As you all know, anything can happen on any given Sunday and the Raiders showed they shouldn’t get overlooked.
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Rookie QB Derek Carr is 102 of 167 for 1,016 yards. He has weapons in Darren McFadden, Maurice Jones-Drew, James Jones, Andre Holmes, and Brice Butler. As shown last week against the Chargers, they are starting to make use of their talent.
Jones-Drew has had a slow start, but he`s a shifty little runner who`s due for a breakout game. McFadden`s number aren’t much better, but he does have a 1,000 yard rushing season under his belt. These two could become a great one-two punch. So far they have only averaged 85.6 yards a game and the Cardinals defense is only allowing 75.8 a game. Even though they broke 100 yards last week, I would expect the Cardinals rushing defense to keep them in check.
Receivers Holmes and Butler had themselves a decent game last week. Butler averaged 21.3 yards a catch and a touchdown. While Holmes racked up 121 yards and two touchdowns off four catches. Jones is averaging 12.6 yards, but he is someone who is able to make plays when needed. Also look for tight end Mychal Rivera to make some catches, even though the Raiders don`t use their tight ends much.
As for the Raiders defense. I believe their pass rush makes their secondary look better than they are allowing 223.2 yards a game. While their rush defense is just horrible, allowing 149.8 yards a games. So far the only playmakers for this defense are DT Pat Sims, DE Justin Tuck (might not play), WLB Sio Moore, and FS Charles Woodson. While DE Lamarr Woodley, DT Antonio Smith, and first round draft SLB Khalil Mack aren’t doing all that much.
CB Carlos Rogers seems like his best years are behind him. While back ups DE C J Wilson (10 tackles, 2 sacks) and CB T J Carrie (17 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 3 pass deflections, 1 interception) look like a couple of up and comers. With how well the Cardinals offense is playing. They should have no trouble with this unit.
If the Raiders offense plays like they did against the Chargers. This could very well be a high scoring game. I would go with the Cardinals defense winning this one at the end of the game, if it comes down to it. Coming up with a turnover or making a big stop when it counts.
I also expect the Cardinals to have the upper hand in the fourth quarter. With them playing in Bruce Arians system longer then the Raiders been playing in Sparano’s system. Kind of like how the Cardinals beat the Chargers in week one. Also like how the Chargers beat the Raiders last week.