Since I wasn’t able to watch the game in its entirety (meaning that I caught bits and pieces, and I also didn’t see the last quarter again), I cannot provide an accurate analysis of this game. I know that the offense shit the bed yet again (from start to end), the defense was looking great, the special teams defense was looking piss poor, and Matt Leinart was a pussy.
No one can wrap up this game better than Paul Gutierrez himself in his replay of Friday night’s game:
The Raiders’ first-team offense, especially the passing game in which Carson Palmer had a passer rating of just 48.4 after completing 13 of 24 for 107 yards and an interception, looked skittish, not to mention the zone-blocking scheme. Oakland’s first-team defense, however, looked dominant at times and dominated the line of scrimmage. Special teams? Yeah, the Raiders have some work to do there. In all, the Raiders had two turnovers and a blocked punt that led to 17 points for the Cardinals. Yeah, the Raiders have some work to do still in this preseason.
Run DMC shows explosion…kinda: A week ago, Darren McFadden touched the ball three times and came away with 38 yards. This time, McFadden had 10 touches for 51 yards, though that number might be a little misleading since 39 of those yards came on two plays, a 22-yard run and a 17-yard catch and run. Other than that, he had three carries for no gain, including twice from the 1-yard line. At least he emerged unscathed, unlike…
Injury bug bites: Receiver/returner Jacoby Ford and running back Mike Goodson both left the game in the first half with foot and chest injuries, respectively. Goodson, who missed last week’s opener after a scary-looking neck injury, fumbled twice and left the game after his second, when he was popped by linebacker Reggie Walker. Then there was backup quarterback Matt Leinart going out in the third quarter.
Speaking of Ford: So much was made this week of Jacoby Ford needed to atone for his poor game Monday. And sure enough, he caught both passes thrown his way and did not muff any returns. But his going out late in the first quarter with a foot injury is troubling in that he was plagued by injury last year, when he suffered a broken hand in camp, a strained hamstring in the opener and a sprained foot mid-season that limited him to just eight games. He was on the bench in street clothes with crutches.
Leinart’s finger:Matt Leinart was quietly dissecting the Cardinals defense when third-string nose tackle Ricky Lumpkin’s cheap shot on a helmet-to-helmet hit knocked him out. Leinart was driven off the field in a cart with his right index finger heavily taped. Leinart was five-of-eight passing for 66 yards at the time.
Streater keeps streaking: With Ford sidelines, undrafted rookie revelation Rod Streaterjumped in with the first team offense and kept his hot exhibition season going. At halftime, Streater had seven catches for 43 yards, giving him 13 receptions for 109 yards in two games.
T.K. with the TKO?: Defensive tackle Tommy Kelly dominated the line of scrimmage in the first quarter, so much so that Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb is sure to have nightmares about him. Especially after his first-quarter safety.
Um, DVD?: DeMarcus Van Dyke, the early-camp standout who had a rough go of it last week against the Cowboys, had another tough night against the Cardinals. DeMarco Sampson beat him bad on a long ball down the left sideline and then, one play later, his missed tackle enabled William Powell to run the ball in from nine yards out for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown. Stephen Williams beat him later for a 31-yard pickup.
All of this is accurate and I agree with every bit. You may be sitting there scratching your head though, regarding why Matt Leinart was carted off the field when he had a finger injury. Trust me, I’m still sitting here pondering the same thing. What happened to the days when QBs would jog to the sidelines, get a quick shot of Gatorade and a breather, tape it up and head back out onto the field? That move was completely weak, in my opinion.
Also, controversy arose after this game between Raiders veteran DT Tommy Kelly and starting Cardinals QB Kevin Kolb. Kelly had sacked Kolb earlier in this game in the end zone for a safety.
Apparently after Friday night’s game, Kelly in an interview referred to Kolb as “scared” and “skittish”. This is the exact quote:
Anytime anybody gets close to him, he starts looking at the refs. As a defensive lineman, you love a quarterback like that. He ain’t even trying to look at the routes no more. He is paying attention to us and you ain’t going to get nothing done like that.
Well, Kolb didn’t respond lightly to that. Here was his response to USA Today:
Scared? Scared of what? Taking a hit? I have never been afraid of anyone on the field and that will never change. That includes Number 93 (Kelly).
There’s a fine line between holding in the pocket and trying to escape to make a play. Tommy Kelly is too clueless to know the difference. I don’t mind people criticizing my play. Don’t ever question my toughness.
Trying to be as unbiased as I possibly can in this situation, I find it quite hilarious that Kolb refers to Tommy Kelly, an eight-year veteran DT in the NFL, as “clueless”. He was sacked fair and square, it was a comment that packed absolutely no disrespect, and Kolb comes out firing with the little ammo he has. Own up to your short-comings, dude.
In much more serious news, apparently an altercation broke out in the parking lot after the game in Arizona, and a man was shot in the face. It is unknown whether this man was a Cardinals or Raiders fan, nor do we know if the shooter was a Cardinals or Raiders fan. I want to offer up my sincerest respect and my thoughts to this fan; at no point should violence of any kind be condoned, whether it be inside or outside of any stadium of any NFL team.
I also want to make it perfectly clear that I will debate and fight in the name of this franchise to no end. A lot of NFL fans (also, general sports fans) came out after this tragic event and started assuming it was a Raiders fan who committed such a crime, based on past history. Whether it was a Raiders fan or not, I do not stand by their actions. I also find it quite cowardly and childish of a member of any fan base (from baseball to hockey to football) to be commenting on such a story and insinuating that it was a Raiders fan who shot this man. I want to point out that a few bad apples cannot spoil an orchard and that not every fan can be painted with the same brush; there are wackos everywhere in this world, and just because they associate themselves with a particular team, it does not mean that that certain team and its fan base condones or supports such horrific acts.
The story can be found here at NBC Sports regarding the fan’s condition.
Next up: The mighty Oakland Raiders look for some redemption against the Detroit Lions on August 25 at home. Look for the starters to play well into the third quarter. I hope that we are able to show a lot of improvement on offense and more consistency on special teams defense. Here’s to hoping!