Both teams' defenses were getting after the opposing offense. In turn both teams' offenses looked downright horrendous.
The Raiders first team offense didn't convert a first down until one minute left in the first quarter. They still managed to put points on the boards thanks to a Nate Allen interception put them in scoring position and Sebastian Janikowski converted on a 49-yard field goal.
That first down was an 18-yard pass from Derek Carr to Mychal Rivera and immediately put the Raiders in scoring position again due to the drive starting at the Cardinals 44-yard line after a short punt. Latavius Murray ran for 13 yards on the next play and the drive ended with another Sebastian Janikowski field goal, this time from 29 yards out.
The entire first half for the Raiders offense was a series of stalled drives. They could get nothing going on the ground, gaining a total of one yard on 12 carries. That's not a typo. They had ONE YARD on 12 carries.So, Latavius Murray led the team with one yard on seven carries. Trent Richardson and Marcel Reece had zero yards on five carries combined.
Derek Carr was pressured all day by the Cardinals defense. Even when he wasn't pressured, he was wildly inaccurate, often not stepping into his throws, causing high passes and overthrows. He finished 18 for 34 for 213 yards. He also was held without a touchdown pass and has not thrown a touchdown pass through three preseason games.
A slight correction here, Carr didn't throw a touchdown pass... to anyone on the Raiders. In the third quarter, he was intercepted by Cariel Brooks who returned it 81 yards for the score. It put the score at 15-10. The 15 points for the Raiders all coming by way of Sebastian Janikowski field goals (5).
It was a different story for the Raiders defense which put Carson Palmer under constant pressure. He was sacked three times and threw two interceptions, both under duress and both picked by Nate Allen. Two of the Raiders three sacks came from Khalil Mack who also had a number of pressures as well.
Denico Autry filled in for the injured Justin Tuck and was constantly in the Cardinals backfield and also tipped three passes at the line.
The first team defense played three complete quarters and left the game clinging to a 15-10 lead. On the first play of the fourth quarter, with the second team defense in the game, the Cardinals added a touchdown to take the lead at 16-15.
The Cardinals would add another touchdown a short time later to go up 23-15.
That's where the score would stay... until Matt "Red Rifle" McGloin came in and tied it up. He came in the game and on his first drive, he drove the Raiders on a 12-play, 83-yard drive culminating in a 9-yard touchdown throw to Kris Durham. Then he threw a laser to Brice Butler just over the goal line to convert the 2-point play and tie the game at 23-23. Suddenly this game got a whole lot more interesting than your typical final minutes of a preseason game.
With the clock ticking, the Cardinals got in the two-minute drill. A sack by Shelby Harris was wiped out because he grabbed the facemask. Mario Edwards then got in for his second sack of the game to put the Cardinals in 2nd and 16, but the Cardinals picked it up on the next play and then drove into scoring position thanks to some terrible tackling by the Raiders and ended it with a touchdown run up the gut to cap the 30-23 victory.
The Raiders fall to 1-2 on the preseason. Derek Carr has yet to throw a touchdown pass and the first team offense has scored just one touchdown overall.
This game is supposed to be the 'dress rehearsal' for the regular season. In which case, this show will not go off without a hitch. Not without a few hitches. They have exactly two weeks to correct it before the season opener.
They head to Seattle on Thursday for their final preseason game, but the starters are not expected to play in that one.