Notes from the Nest: Cardinals vs. Raiders

Aug 12, 2017, 7:10 PM | Updated: 9:55 pm
Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, left, talks with Oakland Raiders coach Jack Del Rio prior to ...

Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, left, talks with Oakland Raiders coach Jack Del Rio prior to an NFL preseason football game, Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — It seems like the Cardinals have been in training camp forever and tonight, finally, a game will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium.

The Cardinals are hosting the Raiders in what many have referred to as their preseason opener, which makes sense given that last week’s Hall of Fame Game did not see any of the team’s starters on the field.

At any rate, tonight should offer if not a chance to see who exactly the 2017 Cardinals are, then at least perhaps a glimpse of what they could be.

The Cardinals will get the ball first. Let’s go.

End of game

And that does it for this one. The Cardinals win 20-10, improve to 1-1 on the preseason and likely have some things to feel good about. Time to head down to the locker room to get some reaction and thoughts.

2:00 left in fourth quarter

The Cardinals are keeping it on the ground — we think — and running out this clock. It’s second-and-six from the Oakland 42.

2:41 left in fourth quarter

Raiders get to midfield but no further, and a fourth-down pass hits the turf. Cardinals take over the Oakland 46 with Trevor Knight at QB.

3:40 left in fourth quarter

Cards keep the ball on the ground and move down the field, but drive stalls when Gabbert can’t connect with Chris Hubert. Matt Wile’s 43-yard field goal attempt sails wide right.

8:27 left in fourth quarter

Raiders move some but not enough and are forced to punt. Ball sails out of bounds at the Arizona 22, which is where Gabbert and the offense will start their drive.

12:52 left in fourth quarter

Drive ends when Gabbert is sacked — for the fourth time tonight — but Cardinals get points when Dawson connects on a 43-yard field goal. The veteran kicker is solid, while the quarterback is tough to judge given the duress he’s been under. He did have one great throw that should have been a TD to Jeremy Ross, but the receiver couldn’t hang on.

Score is 20-10.

End of third quarter

Cardinals moving the ball well as the offensive line is giving Gabbert time while opening holes for Elijhaa Penny. When the fourth quarter begins it will be third-and-two from the Oakland 23.

4:36 left in third quarter

Raiders complete a pass to Cooper Helfet, who fumbles after a hit by Josh Bynes. Harlan Miller recovered the ball for the Cardinals, though the play is under review. If call stands, Arizona will take over at its 31.

6:04 left in third quarter

Raiders are looking for the deep ball and struggling to find it, though they have moved to the Arizona 34.

Cardinals announce TE Ricky Seals-Jones suffered an ankle injury and is questionable to return.

8:24 left in third quarter

Cardinals stall as the offensive line struggles to protect Gabbert. Will Holden allows a sack on third down while at the same time picking up a holding penalty. Not ideal. Leone’s 65-yard punt is returned to the Oakland 39.

9:42 left in third quarter

The Raiders carved up Arizona’s defense and then finished their drive with a John Crockett one-yard TD run. Following the kick, the Cardinals took over at their 14.

11:52 left in third quarter

Cardinals go nowhere as Gabbert is sacked on second down and third down featured a draw just to pick up some yards. Richie Leone’s punt goes for 61 yards and is returned to the Oakland 37.

While not necessarily exciting, the punter competition is something to keep an eye on.

13:58 left in third quarter

Halftime is over but the debate over ice cream sandwiches vs. Drumsticks rages on. Also, so does this game.

Arizona’s defense forces a three-and-out with Budda Baker breaking up a pass on third down. Nice play by the rookie. Cardinals take over at their 18 and Blaine Gabbert is in at QB.

End of first half

Tavecchio’s field goal is good and the score is 17-3 at the half.

:02 left in second quarter

Raiders have moved into field goal range with some passes. Budda Baker slipped on one, which allowed the receiver to get open, and then LB Josh Bynes got beat in coverage for a long gain. Oakland is at the Arizona 25 setting up for a field goal attempt.

1:05 left in second quarter

Stanton misses Ellington on third down, and Dawson comes in to connect on a 28-yard field goal attempt. Not a bad drive for the offense, getting points near the end of the half. The Cardinals are up 17-0.

1:14 left in second quarter

Stanton misses Chris Hubert on what should have been a touchdown. Pump fake freed up the receiver, but the ball was overthrown by a good amount. A short throw later and now it’s third and five from the 10.

2:00 left in second quarter

Stanton is finding Jeremy Ross with regularity, as the QB is displaying a kind of accuracy he has struggled to be consistent with. It’s first down at the Oakland 31.

3:32 left in second quarter

Stanton hits Ellington for a gain of four and the Cardinals are at their own 40. Obviously, backups are in at this point.

4:53 left in second quarter

Cardinals almost recover a fumble on the kickoff, and then the defense gets after the Raiders on the ensuing drive. On third and long Josh Bynes and Kareem Martin lead a party to the QB, and the Cards force the punt.

7:19 left in second quarter

Stanton caps off the drive with an outstanding pass to Niklas, which involved rolling out away from the defender and then throwing across his body into a window. The tight end made the catch (good to have him healthy) but an impressive drive from the backup QB, who many believe should be in a competition for his job. PAT was good and it’s 14-0 home team.

9:07 left in second quarter

Cardinals are moving with Drew Stanton looking pretty good. He just avoided the rush and fired a strike to Golden for a nice gain, showing good poise on the play. One play later, the Cardinals are at the 7.

11:32 left in second quarter

And then Robert Nkemdiche happened. The second-year defensive lineman gets in for a pair of stops around the line of scrimmage and then on fourth down Scooby Wright is credited with a tackle short of the first down. The Cardinals take over at their own 46.

End of first quarter

Quarter ends with mostly good happening for the Cardinals, though there was some sloppiness. In terms of the starters, Palmer finished 4-of-8 for 39 yards and a score, which was fine, while David Johnson was solid in a couple of totes.

The defense, on the other hand, allowed some yards but no points. So there’s that.

:27 left in first quarter

Kerwynn Williams was in at running back and after a gain of three, got the ball again and coughed the ball up while fighting for extra yards. The Raiders recovered and will take over at their 22.

1:50 left in first quarter

The Cardinals are on the move with Drew Stanton at QB. Andre Ellington just picked up 15 yards on a nice cutback to the outside, and Arizona is at the Oakland 30. Stanton has looked OK so far, misfiring on a deep ball but otherwise accurate. Offensive line is opening up some small holes in the running game.

Press box announcement says Josh Mauro blocked Janikowski’s field goal, by the way.

4:02 left in first quarter

Raiders moved into Arizona territory with some quick passes, but the defense stiffened and then Janikowski’s long field goal attempt fell short. Looked like it was tipped at the line. Either way, Arizona’s defense did it’s job against what is not the Raiders’ first-team offense, and the Cardinals will take over at their 41.

Still 8:24 left in first quarter

Matt Wile’s kickoff goes for a touchback, and now we get to see Arizona’s defense.

8:24 left in first quarter

A Chris Johnson run loses two yards and a short pass to Jermaine Gresham falls incomplete, but on third down Palmer finds Brittan Golden in the end zone for a touchdown. Dawson is good on the PAT — which was from longer distance than the field goal, by the way — and the Cardinals are up 7-0.

All in all it was a good drive for the Cardinals. Palmer looked fairly sharp, while the offense line held up reasonably well. David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald left the game earlier in the drive, and though Arians said 15 plays for the first-team earlier in the week, I’d be shocked if the starters return tonight.

9:15 left in first quarter

Palmer misfires to Andre Ellington, who would have been short of the first down anyway. Phil Dawson comes in and connects on a 33-yard field goal, but an illegal formation on the Raiders is accepted and gives the Cardinals a fresh set of downs at the 10.

9:26 left in first quarter

The Cardinals are facing a third and 4 from the Oakland 15 after some short passes to Jermaine Gresham and Brittan Golden have kept the offense moving. Palmer has looked OK — he missed on the deep ball and was errant with a quick toss to Jaron Brown later in the drive — but has been fine taking the short stuff in the middle of the field.

Interested to see what the Cardinals do here with first-time playcaller Byron Leftwich in charge.

12:00 left in first quarter

Cardinals have moved into Oakland territory by way of some solid David Johnson running, a penalty and a completion to JJ Nelson. Carson Palmer, who has looked good in training camp, just missed a wide open Jaron Brown for what would have been a long touchdown pass on the drive.

14:44 left in first quarter

Kerwynn Williams had a nice return out to the 30. His effectiveness (or lack of) is something to watch since the team is seeking a kick returner.


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Notes from the Nest: Cardinals vs. Raiders