Oakland, CA – The Raiders had a great start, the defense kept the Cardinals off the board until they kicked a field goal before the half ended. But by the fourth quarter Arizona extended their lead with two touchdowns to close out Oakland who tied the game in the in the final minutes. The Raiders looked good despite the offense struggling.
Third-string quarterback Phillip String handed off to Maurice Grice who ran up the middle for an 11-yard touchdown with 31 seconds left in the game. The Cardinals beat Oakland 30-23 in their final preseason game at O.co. The next game will be the home opener against the Cincinnati Bengals. In the meantime, Sebastian Janikowski kicked five field goals in the first half.
“I feel like our front is going to be pretty stout,” said head coach Jack Del Rio. “There were some lapses there at the end. I thought early in the game we were rugged. We did a great job clogging passing lanes as well as knocking the ball down and sacking the quarterback.”
“Out of sync, just wasn’t good enough,” Carson Palmer said. “We expect to be able to go down and score every drive. Obviously you don’t always do that, but for us to not go down and score points is disappointing.”
Palmer was sacked three times, picked off by Nate Allen twice and faced a tough Raiders defense. A stellar performance from the starters, the defense proved to be on the right track. But a huge loss in losing right tackle Menelik Watson to a ruptured Achilles. He tweeted his injury after the game and said he’d be back stronger than ever.
“That was a tough break for us,” said Del Rio. “Really unfortunate. He was having a great camp for us. He played well and is a good young man. He’ll bounce back but it’s a big setback.”
By the third, Arizona had made some adjustments. Rookie Cariel Brooks picked off Derek Carr for an 81-yard touchdown. It was the first touchdown of the game. Carr and his offense continued to struggle against the Cardinals defense. The Raiders didn’t get into the end zone until late in the fourth when Matt McGloin connected with Kris Durham for a 4-yard touchdown to tie the game 23-23.
“As an offense we’re pretty upset right now,” Carr said. “We want to score a lot of points. We felt like we left a lot out there and we did.”
But in the finals seconds, Arizona kept their fight. Grice’s 11-yard touchdown sealed the win. With the final final preseason game approaching, many of the starters will rest giving guys a chance to make the final roster. In the last three exhibition games, Carr has yet to throw a touchdown pass. Del Rio feels the concern is not the quarterback who proved as a rookie he is ahead of his time. But rather putting the pieces to an almost finished puzzle.
“We have some time before the Cincinnati week gets here to get those things fixed, and I know that we’re going to work to do it,” said Carr.
“We’re going to get better, but certainly we’re seeing glimpses of a very bright future,” Del Rio said.