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Oakland Raiders History and Info.
Raiders won by 27-23 against the Arizona
The preseason game of the Oakland Raiders and the Arizona Cardinals was an exciting one as a crowd of 39,911 excitedly watched the game, held at the McAfee Coliseum on a Saturday night. The Raiders were more delighted because they won the game over the Cardinals.
Shane Boyd, the third-string quarterback, got most of the playing time and threw the interception that Hiram Eugene returned for a score to make the score, 14-7. Shane Boyd scored on an 8-yard draw on Cardinals’ opening drive of the second half. Neil Rackers added two more field goals to give Arizona Cardinals a leading score of 23-21; however the 27-yard field goal of Sebastian Janikowski set up by a 50-yard pass from Daunte Culpepper to rookie Johnnie Lee Higgins that put Oakland Raiders back ahead with for good 8:10 remaining. In the third quarter, Culpepper entered to a standing ovation with 9:38 left and promptly fumbled the snap from Jeremy Newberry. Rookie Alan Branch recovered to set up a field goal by Rackers. Daunte Culpepper fumbled again on the next drive but the Raiders retained possession. Culpepper showed good mobility later on rollouts after struggling with knee injuries the past two years. “I felt really good to be able to roll out in the pocket and make accurate throws,” Culpepper said. “I wanted to see if I could do it against a defense in a live game. It's a starting point and something to build on.”
Cardinals Head Coach, Ken Whisenhunt, was pleased with how the team ran the ball, averaging 4.3 yards per carry, and his defense at the start of the game, but he still sees lots of work to be done. “The biggest thing I'm disappointed in were the mistakes at the end of the game,” said Whisenhunt. “I had high expectations that we wouldn't make those kind of errors. It was a good learning tool for us.”
The team of Raiders was without No. 1 overall draft pick JaMarcus Russell, who is in a contract dispute with the team that left the quarterbacking duties to Josh McCown, Andrew Walter and Daunte Culpepper. McCown put together an 80-yard touchdown drive, after failing to convert a first down on his first two drives. The drive was fueled by 3 Cardinals penalties for 39 yards, negating a false start, lost fumble and third-down incompletion. Moreover, Darnell Dockett was called for a personal foul for shoving Cooper Carlisle after a false start, Bertrand Berry was off-sides on a play McCown fumbled away a shotgun snap, and Antrel Rolle was called for pass interference in the end zone on a third-and-13 pass to Doug Gabriel. Dominic Rhodes ran it in from the 1 on the next play. The best offensive plays of the drive were a 14-yard pass to Williams on third-and-7 and a 13-yard run by Rhodes. Meanwhile, McCown finished 5-for-9 for 42 yards. To end the half, Andrew Walter engineered another scoring drive capped by a 3-yard pass to Mike Williams, who out jumped Darrell Hunter for the ball.
On the other hand, Cardinals’ quarterback, Kurt Warner, threw a 58-yard touchdown pass to Bryant Johnson on his only drive of the game and Neil Rackers kicked a 59-yard field goal on the final play of the first half for Arizona. New coach Ken Whisenhunt played quarterback, Matt Leinart only one quarter and running back Edgerrin James just two series in the game. Leinart finished 5-for-11 for 50 yards and James carried twice for 3 yards. “We stumbled a bit but I thought we did all right,” said Leinart. “We showed some fight to get back up. But we've got to learn to close. We've just got to keep getting better. It's the preseason and we're learning a new offense.”
The way last season went for the Oakland Raiders team, they will take any sort of a win; even an exhibition one over the Arizona Cardinals. Andrew Walter threw a touchdown pass to Mike Williams and Hiram Eugene scored on a 36-yard interception return to bring Oakland Raiders to a 27-23 win in Coach Lane Kiffin’s first game with the team. “It's one preseason game,” said Andrew Walter, who went 8-for-11 for 50 yards. “It's nothing to hang your hat on. We need to get back to work tomorrow.”
Andrew Williams, a former top-10 pick who struggled in two seasons with Detroit, is hoping to revive his career in Oakland under Lane Kiffin, his assistant coach in college at Southern California. As stated by Lane Kiffin, “It was good to see Mike make a couple plays.” He added, “The touchdown catch was the Mike that some of us remember, but he still has a long ways to go.”
The game was indeed fantastic, a season opener that could be really called a game for the Oakland Raiders; an excellent start.
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