Raiders aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on August 30, 2015 – 11:19 pm

There was a lot of talk about needing to watch the video before anyone could say for sure what the biggest problems were for the starting offense Sunday night in Oakland. Bruce Arians insisted there were no pass protection problems, although for whatever reason – whether it was line breakdowns or running backs not helping enough or Carson Palmer holding the ball too long in certain circumstances – it can’t be denied that Palmer was pressured more than anyone would like.

But again, there wasn’t any panic after. There weren’t any major injuries, so in the end, that probably qualifies any preseason game a success. It is true that the starting offense won’t really get a chance to work in a game before the opener. If that side of the ball is worried, nobody showed it afterward in the locker room.

On the flip side, I thought the starting defense held up well. They were put in some tough positions by the offensive struggles, but I thought they were solid, save for that one third-and-16 conversion they allowed.

— Palmer, who had his right knee wrapped with ice in the locker room after the game, took some hits. But it was his own journey outside the pocket that made everyone gasp a bit. It was third-and-9 and Palmer took off up the middle of the field – diving headfirst to make sure he picked up 10 yards and a first down.

“Larry (Fitzgerald) was screaming at me to get down,” Palmer said. “There is no hesitation. You want to get the first down, you want to stay on the field and keep playing. I probably shouldn’t have done it, but it worked out and I got away with it so I got lucky.”

— The second unit offensive line – from right tackle to left tackle, Earl Watford, Anthony Steen, Lyle Sendlein, Jon Halapio and D.J. Humphries – acquitted itself well, I thought. After the way Palmer was harassed, Drew Stanton had some time against the Raiders’ starting defense during his 12-play, 80-yard TD drive.

— Watford, in particular, played well against Khalil Mack. Watford quietly has been pretty solid, and that’s playing through a bad ankle.

— Defensively, Calais Campbell and Alex Okafor were stout against the run, and Kevin Minter made some good plays. Jerraud Powers showed up in coverage.

— I don’t know if Cariel Brooks makes the 53-man roster but making a play like the 81-yard touchdown return tends to help. I think he’s the leader in the clubhouse if the team’s fourth cornerback is already on the roster – I just don’t know if he’s already on the roster.

— Arians said a couple of times that Phillip Sims would come in first in this game because he wanted Logan Thomas to potentially get a two-minute drill. He couldn’t have come up with a better scenario – tie game, 2:18 left on the clock. Thomas came up big, especially after taking a huge hit on his knee at the outset of the drive.

— Speaking of huge hits, tight end Ifeanyi Momah took a big hit too on his catch-and-rumble to set up that game-winning score. It looked worse than it was, Momah said.

“I’m good,” Momah said. “We ran the play a couple times today. The safety kind of cheated over and the middle of the field was wide open and Logan made a good read. I was expecting the safety. I tried to stick my shoulder into him. It was a big hit but I initiated it too. It wasn’t too much of a blindside.”

— Interesting that tight end Jermaine Gresham, who was expected to play, did not. It did not come up when Arians spoke afterward. Chris Johnson said he thinks he’ll play Thursday after skipping Sunday – he could run full speed straight ahead but was having trouble cutting in pre-game warmups.

— It’s a short turnaround. We’re on this plane flying back to Phoenix now, and the Cardinals have practice Monday afternoon to prepare for Thursday’s preseason finale.


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34 Responses to “Raiders aftermath”

  1. By Steve on Aug 30, 2015 | Reply

    I’ve got to disagree with B.A. that pass protection is “not an issue.” I think center and right tackle are becoming problems with this line, especially Bradley Sowell who had another bad game. Sowell has good size but struggles with speed rushers and Mack made it look too easy getting by him. Shipley has problems with bigger stronger DT’s who just seem to drive him back into the QB. I certainly think that Watford should get a closer look at starting right tackle as he has more athleticism than Sowell and held his own against Mack.

  2. By Amir on Aug 31, 2015 | Reply

    BA needs new pair of glasses if he did not see pass protection issues… pass protection was simply horrendous especially by the first team. Palmer was sacked three times and was hit multiple times almost immediately after the ball was snapped. They showed time from snap to when he was hit for about 2+ seconds. No wonder the first team offense was so poor as Palmer could not even get set in the pocket. I agree it improved with the second unit quite a bit.

  3. By jeffcardinalfan on Aug 31, 2015 | Reply

    earlier this yr I thot there was way too much discussion about who the 3rd qb wud b…after watching the 3 preseason games we may need to keep 4 qb’s and sign lindley to practice simply doesn’t matter how fast wr’s n backs or how good d is if CARSON IS NOT PROTECTED…imo, none of the starting ol had a good game. of the back up qb’s they all looked good-tho I suspect stanton was aided by the fact that raiders starters on d were TIRED FROM SACKING CARSON-at this point I wud give simms the edge over Thomas only because of his better mobility and if ol is not fixed whoever is qb will b running for their lives. I sincerely hope that cards r already watching films of possible ol cuts from other teams. the first 3 games may all b losses-we don’t know how long iupati will b out n we don’t know if massie will b suspended-fwiw imo rt needed an upgrade anyway. it has been decades since cards had strong ol. say what u will bout kevin kolb-he showed extreme toughness n wud probably still b our qb if he had played behind even an average ol-as it was he got the living crap knocked out of him game after game. carson at 36 and having 2 knee injuries cannot take that kind of beating. to end on a positive note-momoah was great-the starting te spot should b his to lose…if we get anything from nillas or Gresham our 2 te sets will cause matchup problems for opposing defensives n might accidently help in run game.

  4. By Hammy on Aug 31, 2015 | Reply

    There were a lot of positives to this game. I really liked how good MOMAH was tonight in his ability to block and get open. He was the game MVP for me. Another bright spot was the “Honey Badger” he was everywhere and made a huge impact in the secondary. Earl Watford is a huge man and held up pretty good against the pass rush. Very interested to see how our OLine will shape up for the start of the season?

  5. By Big Ken on Aug 31, 2015 | Reply

    Watford is really stepping up.

  6. By Marlin on Aug 31, 2015 | Reply


    I respectfully disagree with your assessment that Logan Thomas “came up big”. Momah came up big…..individually! Grice came up big near the goal line. That O line at the end of the game came up big. Thomas was tough, and I can’t say he hurt the drive at all, but he didn’t do anything noteworthy on that drive.

  7. By erik on Aug 31, 2015 | Reply

    Definitely disagree with Arians. Shipley and Sowell are liabilities out there. They look terrible and are going to get Palmer injured.

    Time to put Sendlein with the starters where he belongs and move Watford to RT in Massie’s three game absence. I do Not understand what they coaches are thinking with Shipley and Sowell, because according to everything I have read and heard, those two get destroyed on a daily basis in practice, too. Enough is enough already!

  8. By JosEPh on Aug 31, 2015 | Reply

    I look for Watford to take over the RT position. Bad ankle for last week and a half has kept him from claiming that spot until now. Time to grab the brass ring and run with it Watford, your time is now.

  9. By Marlin on Aug 31, 2015 | Reply

    The two guys who distinguished themselves in the game were Momah and Okafor. Okafor was a complete beast. If he stays healthy…..he’s going to have a big season.

  10. By Jimbowan on Aug 31, 2015 | Reply

    Might as well keep four qbs if the o-line is going to play like they did yesterday. Sheesh, that was ugly. They made Oakland look like the best front seven in football.

  11. By X on Aug 31, 2015 | Reply

    Yeah, Sowell is not good. His footwork is terrible and he was beat by speed as much as by power. Watford looked a lot better. I’m not huge on Massie as a starter but in comparison to Sowell he’s leagues better.

    I haven’t heard Jonathan Cooper’s name much, which is probably a good thing all things considered.

    Logan Thomas impressed in that he took a pretty nasty hit to the legs and stuck in there. Momah is humongous, and he’s still a little skinny. If he puts on a little muscle he’s could be a danger all around. I wonder where he sits on the Depth Chart.

  12. By Crow on Aug 31, 2015 | Reply

    YA sims had a nice couple of reads when he was in too hahaha so glad it was nationaly televised

  13. By Richard L on Aug 31, 2015 | Reply

    My take…..I never thought I would be saying this but I was missing Massie at RT last night. I bet Palmer was too. Momah should get the game ball! I want to see David Johnson with the first team running the ball. Jefferson is over rated. JJ Nelson is getting pushed around. John Brown continues to impress. Niklas and Logan Thomas don’t make the 53 man roster.

  14. By erik on Aug 31, 2015 | Reply

    Richard L,

    You pretty much had me agreeing with everything except Tony Jefferson being overrated. He is a good player.

  15. By krehbieo14 on Aug 31, 2015 | Reply

    Imo, Ellington has not impressed. He doesn’t have the power to push for extra yardage. He has missed assignments as a blocker and receiver. D. Johnson’s ceiling is much higher.

  16. By Scott H on Aug 31, 2015 | Reply

    Well, if your team is going to play a game at all, you’d rather see them win. So I’m glad they did.

    Nice to see 30 points on the board. But definitely NOT nice to know that only 3 of those points came from your first team offense in 2 full quarters of playing time. Not much to like at all about watching the 1st team offense last night.

    I liked the scoring drive that Stanton directed. Very efficient. And I believe the Raiders first team D was still on the field, weren’t they? Nice job.

    DJ looked better catching passes than he did trying to run the ball.

    Also liked what I saw from Simms, and I am officially ready to call him the winner in the race for 3rd QB. I just haven’t felt it all along with Logan Thomas. Simms is clearly a more dynamic AND skilled player. In terms of the future, Simms might just have something to offer. IMHO, Thomas does not. I’m not expecting any formal decisions because they need Simms and Thomas to basically play the whole game in the pre-season finale. So, of course, the competition will remain wide open. But I do not see it as wide open. I’d be surprised if the coaches don’t pretty much know which way they’re going here.

    And Sowell? Good lord, he looked awful. Hard to believe Watford can’t win this battle. Not sure THAT does a whole lot more for us, but….Sowell just scares the heck out of me.

  17. By Robert on Aug 31, 2015 | Reply

    OK i told whomever runs this board to keep my post on line and available..I said Palmer would not make it through game 1 with this OL. In fact i watched Massey and he was getting beat by the third string DE on Oak….In fact i waws watching Cooper and he didn’t look good, Sowell was terrible and Shipley as well even the LT was shaky. We are going no where with these problems…also with all the talent at tight ends, why isn’t fells catching passes?
    By the way why didn’t we sign that all pro guard from PHIL that was released? that thids string # 60 McLain..he played the best,, We won’t win 5 games if the OL doesn’t improve.

  18. By cards62 on Aug 31, 2015 | Reply

    My observations from Raiders game

    Alex Okafor played very well and was the only one to get near the QB so we need to extend his contract as soon as possible. Pay the Man. CC also looked good, but once again we can not pressure the QB.

    Our defensive secondary is strongest unit on our squad. Really liked how our starters got off the bench and cheered for the backup who intercepted the ball and took it to the house. Carr had a lot of time to pass the ball and our offense did next to nothing in the first half and secondary still played very well. Patrick Peterson did great until around 3:30 to go in the first half then he gave up two catches and would not tackle his man just slapping at the ball and PP should have given up a TD pass but Carr missed his wide open receiver. Hoping for the best for PP, but still worried about him. Powers and all others played well. We just gave up long gain to a RB on pass play. Not sure who was burned on that one.

    I hope I am wrong about our punting game, but I think we will have a new punter before the season is over or we draft the punter out of Utah or Alabama next draft.

    First team offense can not score a TD all half against Raiders first team defense and our second team offense scores on their first possession against a well rested Raiders first team defense. We need to shuffle some O lineman until Massie and Iupati return. Watford is only 6-4 295 and Cooper is only 6-2 so I make one of these guys our center later in the season. Sowell is lost and DJ Humphries is another first round project. You guys remember our best drive of the first half. 3rd and 1 and we give the ball to David Johnson and he gets nailed and fumbles in the back field. Notice the whole between our center and left guard. What was that?

    JJ Nelson may be fast but he does not know where to run so he does not need to be out there until he learns more. Come on Floyd and did any of you see #13 Jaron Brown out there with the first team? # 13 needs to be out there before Nelson for now. Just have Nelson run a few go patterns early in the year.

    Do not even remember first team targeting a tight end in the first half. Do you?

    Phillip Sims very nice drive and saw a blitz and immediately decided to run the ball around the right side and picked up a first down. Do not remember him throwing a pass over 5 yards and in this league you need to be able to do that.

    Momah catch and run the play of the game, and Fitz also had a nice run and catch. Logan Thomas did okay, but still do not know what we have in him or Sims, but hope we keep both at least on the practice squad.

    Darren or anyone we have several player nursing hamstrings and some minor injuries so what are the rules on injured players when it comes to who we have to cut to get to 53 man roster?

    Thanks everyone and Go Cards

  19. By Jim Koch on Aug 31, 2015 | Reply

    Why wasn’t Gresham brought up to Arian’s after the game????? No reporter was a LITTLE curious?????

  20. By Jim Koch on Aug 31, 2015 | Reply

    Hey Steve, agree with your points. Watford should be given strong consideration at RT, Sowell obviously not cutting it. And Shipley’s height probably hurts him. Sendlein is 6’3 I believe, if they’re even in their play go with the taller guy.

  21. By Jim Koch on Aug 31, 2015 | Reply

    Response to Amir: I agree 2nd unit O line was much better except for Humphries. He has bust written all over him. Seems to play lazy. I can see why BA seems to be angry with him alot.

  22. By Jim Koch on Aug 31, 2015 | Reply

    My standouts for the game in no particular order; Powers, Mathieu, Okafor, Gabe Martin, Brittan Golden, Stanton, Kerwyn, Momah and the Run Defense. Disappointments in no particular order; Palmer, Ellington, Nelson, Veldheer, Sowell, Humphries, Pass Rush(1st half), Weatherspoon, Gresham.

  23. By Mike in Mesa on Aug 31, 2015 | Reply

    Marlin its a good thing Momah was able to throw those passes to himself and save the game. If I were other NFL teams I would be licking my chops if the Cards are foolish enough to cut Thomas or put him on the practice squad.

  24. By Richard L on Aug 31, 2015 | Reply


    Watch the tape Jefferson got burned 3 times in the 1st qtr. Arians keeps talking him up be he is over rated.

  25. By Scott H on Aug 31, 2015 | Reply

    I also meant to point out that frequent flags against the Raiders were – it felt to me – keeping it from being worse than it was early on. Seemed like it SHOULD have been worse. I mean, if two of those FG’s had been TD’s instead, it would have been REALLY ugly. Not that our defense wasn’t making any plays ( they were ) but the Raiders were just very inept in the red zone. They did a lot to stop themselves as well.

    I was also glad to see the Cat Man come back strong with his 2nd FG attempt because his FIRST attempt was just pathetic! Not even close! It’s one thing when you have plenty of leg but you miss to one side or the other. It’s another when the ball lands 10 yards short of the cross bar. But he nailed that next one.

  26. By krehbieo14 on Aug 31, 2015 | Reply


    There is no way that Niklas does not make the 53, regardless of his nagging injuries.

  27. By clssylssy on Sep 1, 2015 | Reply

    There’s an old theater superstition that if the dress rehersal is bad then it’s a good omen for opening night; wish I was a believer in superstition but the scientist in me can’t ignore tangible evidence! While BA doesn’t want to acknowledge that the 0-line continues to be a liability, the offense’s inability to offer pass protection, in the eyes of the football world is setting us back to being “the same old Cards” known for raising the hopes of it’s fans only to fail to follow through…we’ve seen it before and it seems as if the nightmare is beginning again. And, while much of the responsibility starts with the 0-line, the fact that we have so very few veterans who understand what needs to be done offensively to protect the QB, is, I believe at the heart of our offensive difficulties. Larry Fitz was like a one man offensive band in the Raiders game (which the commentators pointed out) being an on-field
    coach to the young wideouts like JJ (“you gotta commit, so Carson knows where you’re going), and hand holder to our offensive Captain (and leader) who was having a VERY bad night and looked like he had his bell rung a little too hard on a few of those vicious sacks. I do agree that the 1’s were “off” and “out of synch” but I’ve yet to really see them “on” and we are lucky to have the talented backups that stepped in, many of who won’t be with us after the next few weeks.
    What continues to bug me is why we have the same players sitting all the while they should be showing up–in what other world does anyone keep a job and never have to show up for work? What I find even more inexcuseable is that we keep signing guys who are broken, have a career history of being broken/missing work and keep throwing good money after bad without anyone questioning these hires, while our competition is leaving us in the dust and making us look like amatures?
    Last season one of the strengths of our defense was having a veteran at nearly every position and the lack of these veteran anchors on both offense and defense is being felt by the missed assignments and what seems to be a lack of football sense that only comes from experience. Our run game may have speed but we are still lacking the size, toughness, and football IQ, that somebody like Steven Jackson could have provided.
    I felt bad for Carson, who, certainly wasn’t himself/ which made me wonder if he was trying too hard to prove he was as good as ever to Cards fans, (or better) to a Raider Nation with whom he had a nasty breakup.
    Couldn’t help but wonder if the Cards Organization shouldn’t find a job on their coaching staff for Dr. J as a sports psychologist, using her experience in the game together with her professional training as a psychologist to help our players overcome the psychological “shell shock” of returning to the game after serious injury?

  28. By krehbieo14 on Sep 1, 2015 | Reply


    We have no anchors on offense or defense? Plus we already have our tough yards runner in David Johnson.

  29. By Scott H on Sep 1, 2015 | Reply

    krehbieo –

    RE: There is no way Niklas does not make the 53 man roster

    Wow…I’m just thinking about what that really says if that is accurate.

    Then again, we really could use a few more injury-prone guys who barely play at all on this roster…..

    Dude, my problem is not with you. I’m just wondering – is your statement motivated by your assessment of Niklas as a player they will not release because of his obvious talent OR because of your confidence in what decision the organization will make based on their philosophy or…whatever?

  30. By clssylssy on Sep 1, 2015 | Reply

    I, apparently didn’t make myself clear in that by “anchors” I meant the guys who have been in the game a long time, through experience w/the Cards developed the ability to “synch”, and who the newbies look to as teachers. On offense we only have Fitz, Palmer and Floyd (when healthy) and defense we lost Dockett, Rogers-Cromartie, Abraham, Dansby (previous year) etc. PP is what I consider on the young end of the “seniors” then comes the three and four year guys just beginning to hit their stride, who may be gone in the near future? We have Calais and Veldeer (only 2nd yr w/Cards). I think David Johnson is great and I’m thrilled to have him, but it seems our RBs and our WRs are becoming very one dimensional and very much on the small side. Watching the Seahawks, Jimmy Graham at 6’7″ doesn’t seem to standout as a giant with his teammates although some are thicker–VERY IMPOSING! Coach Boyles wanted a veteran at each position–seemed to work pretty good 🙂

  31. By krehbieo14 on Sep 1, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H-

    Like most Cards fans, I am very concerned about Niklas’ injuries and playing time. My motivation for claiming he will make the 53 is as follows: Like Cooper’s situation, based on the fact that Troy was a second round draft pick, I think we keep him. When healthy, he provides beastly line protection at tight end. Be well.

  32. By Drew on Sep 1, 2015 | Reply

    “Watford, in particular, played well against Khalil Mack. Watford quietly has been pretty solid, and that’s playing through a bad ankle.”

    Please, Mack made the o line look like standing dummies. Not to mention Edwards potential…

    As a raider fan, your d looked amazing, this game was a straight defense battle.

    Awesome game!

  33. By Darren Urban on Sep 2, 2015 | Reply

    Drew —

    RE: Mack

    I didn’t say Mack played poorly. But as a Raider fan, I’m guessing you have no idea who Mack was going against and when.

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