Originally published on SBReport.net on Aug. 18, 2012
The Oakland Raiders remain winless in the preseason after they fell to the Arizona Cardinals 31-27 on Friday night in Glendale, AZ.
The loss provided Raider Nation with a mixture of emotions as the team provided solid insight into their 2012 squad after a quick turnaround with just three days of practice.
Raiders fans should be pleased in the defensive squad that has shown up in the first two preseason games. After disturbing quarterback Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys’ starting offense, the Raiders defense held Cardinals starting quarterback Kevin Kolb to just 22 passing yards on 3/6 passing. Those three pass completions came on Arizona’s opening drive in which resulted in a touchdown.
Oakland’s defense caused fits for Kolb and the offense on their next drive, sacking him three times and earning a safety when defensive tackle Tommy Kelly sacked Kolb in the end zone. The Raiders defense remained strong throughout the half, only allowing 54 total yards to the Cardinals in the first half.
On top of that, linebacker Rolando McClain had another solid game. McClain has had a solid offseason and shown more comfort in defensive coordinator Jason Tarver’s defense. McClain has filled the gaps with confidence and appears to be acting instinctually and looks like the linebacker that the Raiders thought they were getting in 2009.
Running back Darren McFadden continued to show that he is one of the best if he can remain healthy. McFadden carried the ball nine times for 34 yards on the night, giving him 11 carries for 54 yards total in the preseason so far. McFadden has also proven to be a reliable target as a receiver as he would have had a touchdown reception if quarterback Carson Palmer put the ball on the money.
Palmer struggled, completing 13 out of 24 passes for 107 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. Palmer now has two interceptions in two preseason games, a number that concerns Raider fans.
Palmer’s struggle can be associated with the tough day that the offensive line had. Palmer was hurried throughout the game. Although he was only sacked once, the offensive line struggled without center Stefan Wisniewski in the game. Wisniewski left the first preseason game with a calf injury and Alex Parsons replaced him at the center position this week.
Undrafted rookie wide receiver Rod Streater continues to show off his skills on the field, catching another seven receptions for 43 yards. Streater now has 13 receptions for 109 yards in just two preseason games. While his alma mater Temple doesn’t throw the ball much, Streater hauled in just 19 receptions all last year. Streater continues to show that he can be relied on and quarterbacks appear confident when throwing to him. Streater runs crisp routes and his sure hands allow him to complete the play.
Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey had a pass clank off his hands in the end zone that would have been a touchdown. Heyward-Bey finished the game with just one reception for 14 yards. Heyward-Bey needs to haul in those catches as the season continues.
One of the biggest negatives that came out of the game was the injuries to players. Kick returner and wide receiver Jacoby Ford left the game with a foot sprain and was seen on crutches after the game. It appears that Ford may miss some time.
Backup quarterback Matt Leinart also left the game with an injury to his non-throwing hand, getting two stitches on his finger after the game. Before he left, Leinart looked comfortable running offensive coordinator Greg Knapp’s offense, finishing 5-8 for 66 yards.
Running back Mike Goodson returned to the field after leaving practice last week in an ambulance. Goodson struggled throughout the night, carrying the ball six times for only five yards and fumbling the ball twice. Goodson struggled with ball security while with the Carolina Panthers.
The Raiders need to correct their turnover problem before the regular season kicks off.
Oakland returns back home to host the Detroit Lions on Saturday for their third preseason game of the season.