Arizona Cardinals vs Oakland Raiders: Preview, prediction
The Arizona Cardinals kick off the 2016 season by taking on the visiting Oakland Raiders.
The Oakland Raiders will travel to Glendale, Arizona for a preseason match up against the Arizona Cardinals. The Raiders finished the 2015 season at 7-9, good for third in the AFC West. On the other hand, the Cardinals finished last season at 13-3 and made the playoffs as the NFC’s number 2 seed.
History: The Cardinals and Raiders have faced each other 9 times in the regular season, with the Cardinals playing 2 of these games as the St. Louis Cardinals. Arizona has an all time 4-5 record against Oakland.
The latest win against the Raiders came in Week 7 of the 2014 season. This was quarterback Carson Palmer’s first game in Oakland since being traded from the Raiders before the 2013 season. The Cardinals won by a score of 24-13 with Palmer throwing for 253 yards along with 2 touchdowns.
What: Arizona Cardinals vs. Oakland Raiders
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
When: 7:00 PM Arizona Time (10:00 PM EST)
TV: ABC 15
Radio: Arizona Sports 98.7 FM
Keys to Victory:
Head coach Bruce Arians said the starters will most likely only be on the field for ten plays. Carson Palmer is looking to move on from the debacle that was the NFC Championship Game and leading the offense to a score in his first drive of 2016 (just like he did in 2015) would be a great way to move on from that. Backup drew Stanton is also not expected to see significant playing time.
Offensively, the biggest story to keep an eye on is the battle for the third quarterback position. Matt Barkley, who will be making his first appearance in a Cardinals uniform, will be getting a majority of the playing time in the team’s first preseason game. Bruce Arians has called Barkley’s play up and down, and has yet to separate himself from his challenger, Jake Coker.
Coker will get mop up duty as he looks to impress the coaching staff. There is a strong possibility that the Cardinals could go with only 2 quarterbacks heading into the regular season so both Barkley and Coker will need to make most of their playing time.
The other story to look at is D.J. Humphries who will be featured as the Cardinals’ new starting right tackle. Humphries sat out the entire 2015 season, and is now eager to show everyone that he is an upgrade over Bobby Massie. Another new face on the offensive line is Evan Mathis at right guard.
A.Q. Shipley is currently penciled in as the team’s starting center, and could be heading into the season. Backup Earl Watford is expected to miss 2 weeks nursing a knee injury, while rookie Evan Boehm still has a lot of ground to make up. Shipley will need to show that he is ready to deliver in his new role.
Undrafted rookie wide receiver Chris Hubert has turned heads in a good way in training camp. Hubert is expected to get a lot of playing time this preseason and has received reps with the first team offense thanks to injuries to other wide receivers. While he isn’t guaranteed to make the team, Hubert has a very good chance to do so.