GLENDALE, Ariz. — The last time the Cardinals played a game in University of Phoenix Stadium they faced off with the Green Bay Packers in a memorable Divisional Round matchup.
Friday night’s game doesn’t carry nearly the same significance.
Still, the preseason opener means the regular season — and games that count — is that much closer, and there can be some value in the exhibition contests.
Personally, I’ll be keeping an eye on a handful of players, though some of the key guys are not likely to be in this game very long. Of course, the most important thing is to get out of the game without injury, so…yeah.
End of game
And that does it here in preseason game No. 1. The Cardinals lose to the Raiders 31-10, and as much as people will want to take things away from this game, it’s probably best not to. The first-team offense looked OK in its brief work, and the defense looked fine, too. The score is mostly irrelevant, though, as what really matters is how certain players did and that, by all accounts, there were no key injuries for Arizona.
So there’s that. Time to head to the locker room for post-game reaction.
2:00 left in fourth quarter
Cardinals have the ball at their own 40 with Coker at the helm. Time is ticking away in this one, though, and while the 31-10 score is certainly ugly, it’s important to remember this game really doesn’t matter all that much.
3:33 left in fourth quarter
Offense stalls as Coker misfires on some throws, and then two plays following the punt George Atkinson III notches his second touchdown of the game. This one came on a 35 yard run, and he once again showed impressive speed.
Score is 31-10 Raiders.
8:10 left in fourth quarter
Coker completed a short pass on third down but it wasn’t enough for a first, and the Cardinals punt. A five-yard penalty is assessed to Ifeanyi Momah for being an ineligible man down field. Raiders take over at their 39.
9:43 left in fourth quarter
Cardinals stop a running play and the punt is fair caught at the Arizona 12. Jake Coker now in at QB.
10:48 left in fourth quarter
Raiders driving, and now the Cardinals have an injured player as linebacker Lamar Louis has yet to get up. After a bit he walked off the field under his own power and with a slight limp. When play resumes it will be third and four from the Arizona 42.
13:05 left in fourth quarter
Barkley found Chris Hubert deep down the field on a great throw, and just when it looked like the rookie was going to make the catch the ball was jarred loose. After that, Barkley misfired on a couple of passes — including one to an open Jaxon Shipley that would have been good for a first down and more — and the Cards were forced to punt.
Raiders take over at their own 37.
13:31 left in fourth quarter
The Cardinals forced a fumble on their punt (which happened quickly after their last drive started), but the Raiders recovered. However, they went nowhere after that, and a short punt bounced out of bounds at the Arizona 26. Barkley is still in the game at QB.
Still :55 left in third quarter
Raiders get another offsides penalty on a kickoff, so the Cardinals will start at their own 30. Barkley still in the game.
:55 left in third quarter
The Raiders move the ball, with a huge chunk coming after linebacker Tristan Okpalaugo got lost in coverage. Then, Oakland RB George Atkinson III took a carry, bounced to the outside and saw nothing but daylight. He scored from 53 yards out and looked rather fast in doing so.
PAT is good and it’s now 24-10 Raiders.
3:11 left in third quarter
Some penalties helped, but the Cards got into Raiders territory before stalling. Barkley threw a nice ball to Momah down the field on third down, but the tight end couldn’t hang on. Punter Garrett Swanson’s kick is fair caught at the Oakland nine.
5:23 left in third quarter
Barkley looking more and more for Chris Hubert — a rookie who has flashed in camp so far. A roughing the passer moves the chains, and the Cardinals are in Raiders territory.
8:23 left in third quarter
Defense comes up with a stand, and a boomer of a punt lands in the end zone. Cardinals take over at their 20. Be interesting to see how Barkley bounces back as he was doing well up until the pick.
9:57 left in third quarter
Cardinals had a Stepfan Taylor TD wiped out by a Troy Niklas hold. Next play has Barkley get picked off as he was trying to get the ball to Shipley. Niklas had been having a nice game up until that penalty, and while it doesn’t erase the good he did, costing a TD is sure to draw some coach ire.
The interception is returned to the Oakland 27.
11:49 left in third quarter
Cardinals moving the ball, as Barkley seems to be settling in with some nice throws. Jaxon Shipley has come up big, too. A delay of game makes it second and 14 from the 20.
14:55 left in third quarter
Raiders incur a five-yard penalty on the kickoff, and the Cardinals will take over at their own 17. Barkley still in at QB.
And the first two quarters of the preseason are in the books; only 14 remaining. Quick observations are this is about what you could have expected. Arizona’s first-teams did well, the second-team needed time to find its footing and the third-team, led by Matt Barkley, has been very hit and miss.
:27 left in second quarter
Barkley and the offense move the ball some, with the QB finding TE Ifeanyi Momah for some nice gains. Offense stalls, though, as the QB continued to misfire on out routes. Punt bounces into the end zone. Raiders take over at their 20.
1:51 left in second quarter
Cardinals force a punt (a hands to the face penalty on the Raiders helped) and the 57-yard boot is returned to the Arizona 26. Brandon Williams still getting tested out there, and looking just a bit better against the Raiders backup WRs.
3:42 left in second quarter
Cardinals moved the ball with some help of Kerwynn Williams, but the offense stalled in large part due to some shoddy offensive line play. Catanzaro is wide left on a 41-yard field goal attempt. Don’t blame the snap, though, as it was a good one from Canaday.
Score is still 17-10 Oakland.
7:59 left in second quarter
Hey, the Cardinals forced a turnover. Andre Holmes was trying to stretch out with the ball for an extra yard or so, but the ball was jarred loose and recovered by Brandon Williams. Cardinals take over on their own 37.
9:31 left in second quarter
Ruling stood and a nice return on the punt is negated by a holding penalty. Raiders take over at their 35.
9:46 left in second quarter
A short run from Kerwynn Williams is followed by a pass that Barkley did not get to his intended target. On third down, he fit the ball into a tight window to Jaxon Shipley, who lost control and saw the ball bounce away. The ruling on the field is incomplete, but the Cardinals are challenging the call.
10:37 left in second quarter
Hey look at you, Brandon Williams! On third down he knocks a pass away but a yellow flag gave the impression that he may have gotten to the ball a bit on the early side (and through the receiver). Turns out, it was offensive pass interference.
A nice punt is fair caught by Nelson at the Arizona 25. And now, Matt Barkley is the QB.
12:21 left in second quarter
Stanton found tight end Troy Niklas who took a short pass and bounced off a defender before picking up 32 yards. On first and goal from the five Stanton overthrow an open Niklas in the end zone, but on second down Ellington squirted through the line and found pay dirt. The PAT was good, and the score is 17-10 visitors.
14:09 left in second quarter
Stanton is nearly picked off again while overthrowing his target, but the ball is dropped. Next play is a 35-yard run by Andre Ellington, with the RB showing the speed and quickness he displayed in 2013.
End of first quarter
That quarter seemed like it took forever.
On the plus side, Arizona’s first-team offense moved the ball OK and the top defense did not allow much. On the negative side, things quickly turned for the worse when the backups came into the game. A pair of turnovers did not help things, of course.
:04 left in first quarter
Ellington had nowhere to run on his return, and then on the first play from scrimmage Stanton airmails Jaron Brown and is picked off. Then, on second and eight from the 10, McGloin finds Andre Holmes for a TD, beating Brandon Williams on the play. PAT is good, and the score is 17-3 Raiders.
1:13 left in first quarter
The Cardinals forced a punt, but J.J. Nelson lost the ball on the return and on the first play from the Arizona 19 QB Matt McGloin found tight end Clive Walford wide open for a touchdown. Looked like a blown coverage.
The PAT is good and the score is Oakland 10, Arizona 3.
3:43 left in first quarter
Cardinals go three-and-out after Drew Stanton misfires when allegedly looking for Jermaine Gresham. Punt is fallen on at the Oakland 23, a 50-yard punt.
5:08 left in first quarter
Kick is returned to the Arizona 22. Second-team offense, with D.J. Humphries still at right tackle, is now in the game.
5:13 left in first quarter
The call stood and after that the Raiders didn’t get much, though not for a lack of trying. Plenty of shots down the field, but Arizona’s defense (Marqui Christian, in particular) did just enough to prevent completions.
Sebastian Janikowski came on and drilled a 53-yard field goal, so we’re all tied up now.
6:14 left in first quarter
Raiders come out throwing and throwing at Brandon Williams, who was beat on the play but did not give up a completion. Incidentally, it was when they went away from Williams — at Alan Ball — where a pass was completed to Michael Crabtree on third down.
However, the challenge flag is out so we’ll see if it stands. If nothing changes, it will be first and 10 for the Raiders at the Arizona 37.
7:06 left in first quarter
Kick coverage broke down a bit as the ball was brought out to the 35. Most of the second-team defense is now in the game, save for Tyvon Branch, Ed Stinson and Brandon Williams.
7:17 left in first quarter
Later in the drive, Palmer connected on a nice down-field throw to Michael Floyd after a play-action fake where David Johnson did a nice job helping to block. Johnson then had an excellent run where he juked cornerback David Amerson and at that point it looked it was destination end zone, but a Chris Johnson run went nowhere, a quick toss to Larry Fitzgerald was stuffed and no one was open on third down before the ball was thrown away. Chandler Catanzaro came in for a 25-yard field goal, which he converted. Kameron Canaday was the long snapper, by the way.
10:38 left in first quarter
Offense got off to a rocky start with a run that went nowhere and a pass where a pressured Palmer nearly got picked, but on third and long the QB hits J.J. Nelson for a first down. That play was followed by an eight-yard David Johnson run, and now the offense is moving.
12:09 left in first quarter
Welcome to the NFL, Brandon Williams. The rookie cornerback was tested early and often, giving up a nice gain to Michael Crabtree and then being bailed out by a poor throw to Amari Cooper on third down. A couple of penalties did not help the Raiders, too. Punt sails into the end zone so Cardinals take over at their 20.
15:00 left in first quarter
Raiders won the coin toss and elected to receive. The kick sailed into the end zone and was returned to the Oakland 25.
13:00 before kickoff
The Cardinals’ list of players who are not expected to play is rather extensive, and there are no surprises to be found. Outside of the PUP list players (Tyrann Mathieu, Frostee Rucker, Justin Bethel and Zack Wagenmann), notable players who will not suit up include John Brown, Brittan Golden, Earl Watford and Robert Nkemdiche.