Oakland Raiders lose 30-23 to Cards in SNF defeat


The Oakland Raiders national exposure on Sunday Night Football for their Preseason Week 3 home game against the Arizona Cardinals was a mix of highs and lows as a dominant performance from both starting units ended with just 15 points on the scoreboard. Leaving the window open for what was eventually a 30-23 loss as the Cardinals second unit stole a preseason victory at the Coliseum.

The Raiders defense was the star of the show for the first half as Khalil Mack and Mario Edwards Jr. got after Carson Palmer. Mack abusing former Raiders left tackle Jared Veldheer early and often, keeping the Cards offense in check while helping Nate Allen take advantage of poor throws from Carson Palmer with two interceptions on the day.

Given good field position all night, Derek Carr drove the ball or started with the ball in Cardinals territory on nearly all of his drives over the first half and one drive in the third quarter with nothing to show for it other than five field goals in the first half to end with a 15-3 lead as the offense left far too many points on the board due to failed execution.

Trying to give Carr one more chance with the first drive of the second half, the starting quarterback drove the offense back into the redzone one more time before throwing a Pick-6 under pressure. Ending his night in what was a forgettable performance that will lead to many questions about his ability to find the endzone going forward as Carr still has zero preseason touchdown passes through three games.

In the fourth quarter the Cardinals eventually took a lead with the second units in before Matt McGloin and Brice Butler continued to show their preseason chemistry to tie the game with a touchdown followed by a successful two-point convert. That would force the Cards to come up with a game-winning drive of their own, finding the endzone with just over :30 on the clock to seal the victory.

Khalil Mack and Edwards were the stars of the day with both players getting to the quarterback with impressive pass rushing skills, showing that the Raiders may have their pass rushing duo of the future with the second round rookie looking outstanding in his third preseason game. Amari Cooper also had an expected strong outing, beating Patrick Peterson for a big gain as some of the highlights out of the up and down game on Sunday night.

At the end of the day the Raiders performance will draw a mixed reaction as Ken Norton Jr.’s defense was outstanding while the offense left a lot to be desired even if Amari Cooper and Carr did connect for some big gains despite the lack of touchdowns. In the all important third preseason game with extended playing time the defense responded while the offense struggled, something that the coaching staff will focus on in the coming weeks before Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Even with a loss it looks like the Raiders are headed in the right direction, the next step will be figuring out how to turn good field position into touchdowns from the Derek Carr-led Raiders offense before the games start to count.