Cardinals beat Raiders in home-opener for first preseason win
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer made his first appearance of the preseason on Saturday and Drew Stanton looked sharp as Arizona beat the Raiders, 20-10.
Palmer threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Brittan Golden to cap his brief preseason debut while Oakland quarterback Derek Carr watched the game from the sideline.
Palmer, at age 37 beginning his 15th NFL season, directed Arizona on a 12-play, 70-yard touchdown drive to start the game. It looked as if the Cardinals were headed for a short field goal, but the Raiders were called for covering the snapper on the kick, giving Arizona a first down and setting up its opening TD.
David Johnson had a 10-yard run in the opening drive. The standout running back carried three times for 16 yards before calling it a night.
Two of the Raiders’ top defensive players, All-Pro defensive end Khalil Mack and linebacker Bruce Irvin, joined Carr and Lynch as spectators.
While it was the preseason opener for Oakland, it was Arizona’s second outing. The Cardinals starters did not play in the team’s 20-18 loss to Dallas in the Hall of Fame Game.
NO CARR: Carr had been expected to see his first action since breaking his right leg in a game last Christmas Eve, but coach Jack Del Rio chose to have his starter sit the opener out.
BACKUP BATTLE: E.J. Manuel got the start at quarterback for Oakland and had a strong showing in his battle with Connor Cook for the backup job. Manuel completed 10 of 12 passes for 107 yards.
Cook played the entire second half, completing 10 of 21 for 81 yards
NO RUST: Palmer showed little sign of rust after a very light week of workouts.
He hadn’t thrown a pass in practice since Tuesday, taking Wednesday and Thursday’s workouts off.
CARDINALS QBs: Stanton, who appears to have a firm hold on the backup quarterback job despite the addition of Blaine Gabbert, had a strong first half in relief of Palmer.
Stanton, Palmer’s backup for the past four seasons, completed 11 of 15 passes for 112 yards, including a 7-yard TD pass to tight end Troy Niklas.
Gabbert played most of the second half, completing 5 of 9 passes for 53 yards.
JUST WATCHING: Neither of Oakland’s two top draft picks played. Cornerback Gareon Conley, the first-round pick, and the second rounder, safety Obi Melifonwu, are nursing injuries.
Arizona wide receiver John Brown, slowed by a quadriceps issue, did not play.
OFFENSE RESTS: The only members of Oakland’s first team offense to play were tackles Marshall Newhouse and Vadal Alexander.