Arizona Cardinals vs Oakland Raiders: Preview, prediction
The Arizona Cardinals continue their preseason schedule, this time on national television, against the Oakland Raiders.
The Arizona Cardinals will travel to Oakland, California for a showdown with the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders (1-1) finished the 2014 season at 3-13, and finished last in the AFC West. On the other hand, the Arizona Cardinals (0-2) finished last season at 11-5 and made the playoffs as a wild card team.
History: The Cardinals and the Raiders have faced each other 9 times in the regular season, with the Cardinals playing 2 of these games as the St. Louis Cardinals. The Arizona Cardinals have an all time 4-5 record against the Oakland Raiders. The latest win against the Raiders came this past season in Week 7. The Arizona Cardinals won by a score of 24-13 in a win that was fueled by 2 touchdown passes by quarterback Carson Palmer.
What: Arizona Cardinals at Oakland Raiders
Where: O.co Coliseum Oakland, CA
When: 5:00 PM Arizona Time (8:00 PM EST)
Radio: Arizona Sports 98.7 FM
Keys to Victory:
The newly reconstructed offensive line has not been up to par so far. Last week against the Chargers’ pass rush Palmer was sacked twice and hit another time. While the starters will most likely be only be playing for less than a half, the offensive line and the running backs will need to work on being able to provide better pass protection for Carson Palmer. If the unit can provide better protection, the offense will be fine.
While Andre Ellington is still the lead back, he shouldn’t feel too comfortable as rookie David Johnson impressed many in his NFL debut. Johnson ran for 66 yards on 13 carries against the San Diego Chargers. After running side to side for his first few carries, Johnson got settled and broke several tackles on his way to being the leading rusher for the night. If he can pick up where he left off, there is a possibility that Johnson will be the starting back by the middle of the season.
Chris Johnson is expected to make an appearance this game after sitting out against the Chargers with a hamstring injury. Head coach Bruce Arians stated that Chris Johnson has a chance to take the starting job, but that seems more and more unlikely this late into the preseason. This game will give us a chance to see whether Chris Johnson is back to his CJ2K playing days.
While Bruce Arians claims that there is no leader in the battle for the third quarterback position, I disagree. After a tremendous fourth quarter against the Chargers by Phillip Sims, I think he has an advantage over Logan Thomas for the third quarterback spot. Against the Chargers, Sims was able to show that he was able to lead an offense downfield when needed, and brought the Arizona Cardinals from 10 down to tie the game before the defensive back ups let him down.
Depending on how well Thomas plays against the Raiders, and whether Sims has a similar performance to the one he had against the Chargers, this game may very well be the last time we Logan Thomas in an Arizona Cardinals uniform.