Oakland Raiders vs Arizona Cardinals: Plays of the Game
Luis Reyes – Aug 20, 2012
As a Raiders' fans, we can’t help but be a little bit demanding sometimes, even if it's only preseason. In Friday’s game we saw a lot of dynamic plays; unfortunately most of them came from the defense.
I saw a lot of good things from the defense, they were fast to the ball, always on the right spot, and made adjustments after some coverage breakdowns. But the offense, once again didn’t manage to dominate the scoreboard. They didn’t score a touchdown until the third quarter and turned the ball over one too many times.
Looking over the plays of the game, there are a few that we must really be excited about.
Defensive Play of the Game
The decision to pick the defensive play of the game was very hard, only because there were two extremely great plays. The first one was the sack for safety by Tommy Kelly in the first quarter, and the second one was the forced fumble sack by Linebacker Carl Ihenacho and recovery touchdown by defensive lineman Hall Davis.
Since I can only pick one I’m going to go with Tommy Kelly’s sack for safety.
My first reason is because this was done against the first team offensive line, and second of all, because sacks for safety are one of the most rare and exciting plays in football. Every time a defense gets a safety, it shows a sign of dominance beyond explanation.
Not only that, if you take into consideration that on the play right before, the Raiders almost got the safety, forcing an intentional grounding penalty taking Arizona back to its own one yard line.
Tommy Kelly went right through Right Guard Adam Snyder and Right Tackle Jeremy Bridges. He broke through the double team and brought pressure straight to Quarterback Kevin Kolb. When Kolb sensed the pressure from Kelly he tried scrambling to his left side, but saw Matt Shaughnessy coming in fast as he had also burned through the Left Tackle. This forced Kevin Kolb back to his right side, straight into Tommy Kelly.
It was an excellent execution by the Raiders defensive Line in general since this pressure was caused on a four man rush. Since the tight end stayed in to pass protect it was a six on four and the Raiders still managed to get two guys to the Quarterback.
There has always been a lot of hype about the Raiders defensive line, but this season is the best I’ve ever seen them! Matt Shaughnessy seems healthy and is playing at 100%, Lamarr Houston is showing extreme improvement after losing about 20 pounds in the off season, making him a lot faster off the edge, and Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour are as dominant as ever imposing their veteran leadership and experience.
Offensive Play of the Game
The decision to pick the offensive play of the game was also very hard, but unlike the defense, the reason for this is because of the lack of good plays on offense. Overall it was an abysmal performance at best. If we take into consideration the entire preseason, it took the Raiders six quarters to score a touchdown, yes I know its preseason, but its football, you need to score touchdowns in football.
Anyways, I’d have to say the offensive play of the game had to be the 22 yard run by McFadden. It was a perfectly executed counter to the left.
The Raiders offense lined up in a power right formation with David Ausberry as the full back and sent out Right Guard Mike Brisiel on a pull to block the incoming Defensive End. David Ausberry did an excellent job as the lead blocker taking out the Linebacker. That opened up a huge hole where McFadden exploded right through, burning Linebacker Stewart Bradley and going for 22 yards before being tackled.
Technically that would be the best offensive play in the game, since the Raiders showed nothing outside of the ordinary all game. But I have to mention an extremely important and amazing play done by an undrafted rookie Wide Receiver out of Temple, his name is Rod Streater, you guys might have heard of him by now.
On a Carson Palmer interception Rod Streater had one of the best hustle plays of all preseason. What would’ve been a pick six was stopped by a huge sprint done by Streater to take down the defender at the five yard-line. Streater literally was not even on the picture and he came out of nowhere passing right by everyone to tackle the ball carrier. Streater practically saved the Raiders four points since the defense managed to keep the Cardinals to a field goal.
Overall I have honestly been very impressed with the defense, specially the front seven. They have put pressure on the Quarterbacks constantly and have shown a lot of energy and grit on the field.
On the offensive side I’ve been rather disappointed with the lack of execution from the first team, and it all falls back on Carson Palmer. I’m not going to make a big fuss out of this because it is a new system for Palmer. We have seen how good Matt Leinart has been under center and that is simply because he knows the system better, not because he is a better Quarterback than Palmer. I truly believe that once Palmer understands this system as well as Leinart, he will lead the Raiders to have one of the more dominant offenses in the NFL.
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