The scoreboard once the final whistle blew showed that the Oakland Raiders lost their third preseason game 30-23 against the Arizona Cardinals. But the score at half time was a better reflection on how the starters did and the Raiders where winning then – 15 to 3.
The starters on the Raider defense terrorized the Cardinals all night long. Former Raiders Palmer and Veldheer will be having nightmares for weeks following the abuse they took from Khalil Mack. It was enough to reduce Palmer to just eight completions on twenty two attempts and garnered Nate Allen two interceptions in the process.
Mario Edwards Jr walked away from the game with two sacks in a vastly improved performance from his first outing as a Raider. Malcolm Smith performed at a level that gives Sio Moore a serious challenge if he is to recover his starting role. Ben Heeney – after being the star of the last two games – looked more like the rookie he is last night. Taylor Mays should not feel say with Dowling having been cut if his performance last night is the only thing he is to be judged on, his thumping hit on TE Momah was great but Momah absorbed it and then charged downfield.
On offense the picture was a little different, Carr looked good at times but couldn’t seal the deal on any drive with a touchdown. Forcing the Raiders to settle for five field goals from Seabass (who – as the announcers pointed out – will be setting a record come opening day by having worked for ten different head coaches for his career).
The really bad, Menelik Watson is likely lost for the season with a ruptured a Achilles tendon. Watson had clearly won his position during camp but now will have to wait until the 2016 season to show if his promise was finally showing up on the field consistently.
Ruptured Achilles' tendon… I Will be back stronger than ever that's a promise. Main thing is supporting the team right now. #RaiderNation
— Menelik Watson (@MenelikWatson) August 31, 2015
Trent Richardson continued to show why two teams have so far given up on him. One rush he seemed to sidestep the gap and run right into the back of his offensive line man (need to rewatch the tape to ensure that was what I really saw) but did have one nice nineteen yard gain. Not nearly enough to earn a roster spot. He certainly is the player he used to be.
On a final note, Matt McGloin for my money looks to have won the backup quarterback role to date. Will be interesting to see the final depth chart to see if I’m right.