Raiders aftermath, as Stanton shines

Posted by Darren Urban on August 13, 2017 – 12:01 am

It was a new perspective for me Saturday night, with my new preseason duties as sideline radio reporter putting me down on the field the whole game. The focus goes up when there isn’t Twitter to watch and interact with, that’s for sure. The Cardinals had most things go exactly how they’d like them to have gone. The injuries were limited and minor, and the first-team offense was solid.

But the fact Drew Stanton played so well (11-of-15 passing) was helpful. One, it helps define what the rest of the preseason is about, and in the case of the quarterbacks, that’s whether Blaine Gabbert is someone to keep as a third quarterback rather than supplanting Stanton as No. 2 (not that it was ever that close to being a battle anyway.) The Cardinals took a flier on Gabbert to see if he might have some future value. The plan was always for Stanton to remain No. 2. Stanton’s poise in the pocket impressed Saturday. He also praised strength coach Buddy Morris and that crew for preparing his body so well, noting it’s made a difference. Whatever the reason Stanton got off to such a good start — he had as many completions against the Raiders as he did all of the 2016 preseason — the Cardinals will take it.

— Same with Carson Palmer, who looked sharp. There were a couple of near misses. The Cards will lament greatly if Palmer slightly overthrows a wide-open Jaron Brown for what should’ve been a 46-yard touchdown if it had been the regular season. But the bullet to Brittan Golden for a touchdown was nice, and Palmer maneuvered the pocket well.

— David Johnson, 3 carries for 16 yards. I’m not sure I’d need to see him at all the rest of the preseason. He looked fine.

— Golden is one of those guys who just makes it so hard to cut. Three catches for 44 yards and a score, and he’s good on special teams.

— The punters weren’t busy, but they clearly got the message from coach Bruce Arians. Each only punted once. Matt Wile crushed a 65-yarder (net of 56), Richie Leone launched a 61-yarder (net of 45). Wile’s kickoffs were impressive all night too. In fact, special teams did pretty well. Josh Mauro had a blocked field goal and Kerwynn Williams had a 35-yard kickoff return and a 13-yard punt return. Phil Dawson nailed both field goal tries and two extra points with ease (Wile missed a 46-yard field goal, but again, he won’t be trying field goals when it counts.)

— Linebacker Josh Bynes had a team-best six tackles, a half-sack, a tackle-for-loss, a big forced fumble and a pass breakup. He’s a vet, last of the Lions, signed because of injuries — and you have to wonder if he could make a push for a roster spot. he and Scooby Wright could be fighting for a possible place.

— Gabbert had a tougher time in Game 2, but part of that was the blocking, which didn’t hold up all that well. Gabbert took four sacks. That can’t happen, either with him or with the line.

— Did we mention that DT Robert Nkemdiche is playing well? He did again Saturday — he blew up a third-and-1 play for the Raiders, and was in the middle of stuffing the Raiders on the very next fourth down try — and you can see the confidence is feeding into his upswing. If he plays well, the line will be fine, even post-Calais.

OK, it’s midnight. Cards are off Sunday and back to training camp practice Monday.

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29 Responses to “Raiders aftermath, as Stanton shines”

  1. By Big Ken on Aug 13, 2017 | Reply

    I keep hearing/reading the name Josh Bynes. I had to click on his name on the roster list. He’s an ILB in his 5th year out of Auburn. A young veteran on the rise.

  2. By Magnus on Aug 13, 2017 | Reply

    I was at the game. I was surprised at how well drew stanton played. I was not a fan, but after watching the work he put in and confidence he showed on the field I think he should be part of the succession plan post palmer, if and when that ever comes.

  3. By Magnus on Aug 13, 2017 | Reply

    Also I was surprised how much work DJ got today. I would be ok saving his energy and reps for the regular season. Instead utilize E. Penny, kerwinn and dew ellington to see what you actually have in depth.

    Why aren’t we utilizing I. Momah more often, the guy is a big target with great hands?

  4. By Darren Urban on Aug 13, 2017 | Reply

    Magnus —

    RE: Momah

    Momah is a nice target. He is also not as good of a blocker as Gresham or Niklas, and that is the tight end’s top job in this offense.

  5. By joe holst on Aug 13, 2017 | Reply

    This team is going to be dangerous,

  6. By mitchaz on Aug 13, 2017 | Reply

    * Very good game in all three phases for the Cardinals.

    * Good tempo and execution on offense.

    * Solid tackling, pressure and coverage by the defense.

    * Much improved STs play.


    QBs Palmer, Stanton (best he’s played in a few years)
    RBs D. Johnson, Penny
    WR Golden
    TE Niklas
    OL Wetzel (excellent at LT), Iupati, Shipley, Boehm, Veldheer (strong and comfortable at RT), Toner
    DL Nkemdiche
    LB Golden, Martin (sack), Bynes (good instincts and physical presence), Bazzie
    CB Peterson, Bethel, T. Williams (smooth and sticky)
    S Mathieu, Baker, Gallon
    STs Dawson, Wright, Penny, K.Williams (very good debut as KR/PR), Brewer, Wile, Leone

    Updated 53:

    QB (3): Palmer, Stanton, Gabbert

    Gabbert faced the most consistent pressure, but he handled it well, imo. Stanton dodged pressure well to, and his flush throw to Niklas was excellent. However, Stanton got away with throwing what should have been an easy interception in the end zone. It was Stanton’s only bad play of the night.

    RB (4): D. Johnson, K. Williams, C. Johnson, Penny

    Andre Ellington showed his wheels and receiving ability and might even have garnered some trade value with this performance, but Elijhaa Penny is one of the team’s best ST players and brings pop between the tackles. With this roster, Ellington wouldn’t be active in game days because he doesn’t play STs.

    WR (6): Fitzgerald, Jo. Brown, Nelson, Ja. Brown, Golden, C. Williams

    Brittan Golden is having a very good camp and is good on STs. Jeremy Ross is on his heels, but dropped a TD. Aaron Dobson has to start playing (if possible) to make his case. Youngsters Bundy, Hogan and Agudosi are tall, skilled WRs. Chris Hubert was open for 2 TDs (one deep by a little and one by a lot when he joked out starting CB Sean Smith on a stop and fade). The fact that Hubert was getting targets early and throughout the first half is meaningful, especially in John Brown’s role while Brown is injured.

    TE (3): Gresham, Momah, Niklas

    Hakeem Valles is again showing upside on STs. Probably starts the year on the PS, however.

    OL (9): Humphries, Iupati, Shipley, Boehm, Veldheer, Wetzel, Toner, Do. Johnson, Holden

    Holden struggled at LT. Meanwhile RT Ulrich John has put up his 2nd good tape in two games. Not sure if the Cardinals want to risk exposing Holden to waivers, but John is a good, solid player and is deserving of a roster spot, imo. Might garner some trade interest.

    Tony Bergstrom has been very solid at G and this week at C. He too is making a strong case.

    DL (7): Rucker, Peters, Mauro, Nkemdiche, Gunter, Pierre, X. Williams

    Aside from Nkemdiche, none of these DL is making splash plays as yet. One would expect more from Mauro, Gunter and Pierre. Peli Anau had the best penetration TFL of the night. This unit needs to get going.

    ILB (5): Bucannon, Dansby, Reddick, Wright, Bynes

    Credit Steve Keim for signing Bynes and CB T. Williams. Both look sharp.

    OLB (4): Golden, C. Jones, Martin, J. Jones

    Jarvis Jones has yet to play in a game. Meanwhile, Alex Bazzie and Cap Capi are showing flashes of strength and edge quickness.

    CB (4): Peterson, Bethel, T. Williams, B. Williams

    S (5): Mathieu, Baker, Bethea, Branch, Ford

    Harlan Miller needs to be more aggressive in run support and tackling. Ironhead Gallon is making a strong case for the roster. He was sticky in coverage last night and very physical in his tackling, plus he’s good on STs. Rudy Ford’s speed and aggressiveness at FS is a big need, which is why he gets the nod thus far.

    ST (3): Dawson, Leone, Brewer

    Dawson is a joy to watch. The key thing in this game is that Richie Leone was doing the holding. Both Leone and Matt Wile boomed 60+ yard punts and Wile was very good on his kickoffs. But, if Leone is holding for Dawson, that’s a giveaway as to who is winning the punting job.

  7. By Marlin on Aug 13, 2017 | Reply

    Gabbert was brought in to push Stanton…. and that’s what happened. Stanton is more determined this year. Last year he coasted. Competition breeds success. Keep Gabbert as well and we have solid depth and maybe some choices going forward into 2018.

  8. By Rod on Aug 13, 2017 | Reply


    What did you mean when you said this?

    Phil Dawson nailed both field goal tries and two extra points with ease (Wile missed a 46-yard field goal, but again, he won’t be trying field goals when it counts.)

    Why won’t he be trying field goals when they count? Didn’t we get him for that?

  9. By Darren Urban on Aug 13, 2017 | Reply

    Rod —

    RE: Wile

    Uh, no. Wile is there to be a punter. Dawson will kick field goals.

  10. By Joe Cardea on Aug 13, 2017 | Reply

    Darren, whatever happened to the old coaches show where they break down tape? That would be must watch TV. It wouldn’t have to be BA although he has a great personality for it. I remember watching Chuck Knox when I was a kid in L.A. Very informative and a chance t see the nuances. Definitely would be a ratings hit. I’m in Tucson, is there something in Phoenix?

  11. By Darren Urban on Aug 13, 2017 | Reply

    Joe —

    RE: Coaches tape breakdown

    I’m not sure. There is nothing Arians does like that.

  12. By Adam Smith b1723 fka DTL on Aug 13, 2017 | Reply

    Note: This is just stream of nothingness, but helps think thru when writing it down. Hope players don’t read, doubt they bother, apologies if they do:

    Gabbert did not turn it over despite duress. We have best QB depth, ever…biggest positional worry now biggest strength with 37 yo 32 yo 27 yo. Who’s 2 or 3 non issue, depth is. QB by far most important position on team. We’re set. Compare when was Leinart, Skelton etc. We wet thru 15 guys all inferior to each of these 3, imo.

    Noticed press report that Lynch sat, ate during national anthem. smh.

    Doesn’t Nke play like Dockett?

    Kris Hogan might be sleeper for next year, PS guy. Seemed like Holden beaten couple times. Hard to keep Elijah over Duke Ellington, again, imo.

    WR 6: Fitz, Jaron, Brit, Chad, Smoke, JJ.
    TE 3: Jermaine, Nik, Momah
    RB 4: DJ, Kerwyn, Chris, Duke Week 8, Logan, cut/IR someone else
    QB 3
    OL: 9
    24 Offense ST 3 = 27 +

    DL 7 or 8, depending of find another real CB
    OLB 4
    ILB 4
    S 6
    CB 4 or5

    Defense 26 = 53

    PS: Penny, Krishawn, Agudosi, Hulbert (like Golden, just too much good to let go of), Carter (CB) Sojourn CB, et al OL DL LB

    Cuts: Harlan, Ed Stinson?

  13. By CARDS62 on Aug 13, 2017 | Reply

    My thoughts from the game. Special teams were not perfect but I will take this effort and result every week. Very happy with the ST performance.Dawson doing directional kicks could be a weapon for us. MitchAZ I like Wile so far as punter based upon what I have seen to date. Really liked his 65 yarder from around our end zone and we had great coverage. I never understand what we do with our punting game so you are probably right and they will keep the other guy, Leone.

    Jaron Brown was getting open which was nice to see. Wish Carson would have hit him with the pass. Golden looked real good. The TE from Notre Dame, whos name we can not speak favorable because of fear of another bad luck injury looked good again.

    Ellington looked good to me. I know he dropped a pass to keep a drive alive from Stanton, but overall he impressed me most at running back.

    Josh Bynes LB I will give the .defensive game ball. Just one game but if he continues to play like this we will definitely have to give him a Steve Keim Dollar Tree Special Award. Listen I know Reddick is just a rookie in his second preseason game. but he is making mistakes and I hope we play him more in preseason. I have more confidence in Bynes right now to make the play over Reddick, but like I said Reddick is just a rookie with lots to learn.

    Honey Badger looked smooth, Bubba Baker flashing again and amazing to think he missed most of the off season work due to college.

    Dockett 2.0 flashed again. So far he looks like our best defensive lineman. Worst to first in one year which tells you I am worried about our D Line.

    Some good play from some on the OL but overall this group is the biggest disappointment from this game. Pass protection not good all game, but especially in the second half. Almost every time Gabbert went back to pass he was under duress and it is not like we had to pass as we had the lead the entire game.

    Second week in a row my game ball goes to a QB, but this week it is Drew Stanton. I have to eat some crow over this one because I did not think he had it in him anymore, but he played great and Stanton also did not receive good pass protection. Happy to eat crow when our players perform well. My boy Gabbert also played well and very pleased that he did not force turnovers when we were in the lead. I still think Gabbert will earn second string, but now later in the season as I just like his athletic ability and size and the way he throws the ball more than Stanton. I do hope Stanton continues to play well and if so I think we definitely have to keep all 3 QBs especially with the pass protection I watched this game.

    The Atlanta game in two weeks will tell us a lot about our team. We still have not faced an NFL starting QB and we will not against the Bears or Broncos either. The Atlanta game is the game to see.

    Now I had the game at 1 AM on the NFL Network so I could have dozed off as it was passed my bed time, but I believe NFL Network messed up as after the 1st quarter ended they come back to the game with under 8 minutes to go in the second quarter, and later in the game, maybe 4th quarter they come back from a commercial and show the same series of plays we just watched before the commercial. Did anyone else notice this or was it just me dozing off???

    Go Cards!

  14. By Scott H on Aug 13, 2017 | Reply

    Lots of very solid performances all around!

    Nice to see Stanton get in there and play well. And nice to hear at least SOME people acknowledge it. Seems like more people were more willing to jump on the Gabbert bandwagon after the HOF game. Yeah, it’s still early and nothing is etched in stone, but…..there IS a reason Stanton is held in such high regard by his coaches and team mates. I loved his roll-out on the TD pass to Niklas. Nice.

    And, wait….did I just say there was a TD pass to Niklas??? Could we FINALLY get to see this kid play this year? And might we be damn glad we did?? IF he can stay healthy, it’s hard to believe we won’t be.

    Love how Nkemdiche is looking. And still tempering my enthusiasm, but it looks like we have come a LONG way from last season. And if that is TRULY the case – and he can sustain that into / through the regular season – it will say a lot about this kid’s character.

    And how smooth and machine-like does Dawson look when he kicks?? That is a sight for sore eyes.

    Gotta keep rooting for Ellington! Ya wonder that if injuries continue to limit the other WR’s, it might just keep the door open for him. Not that he’s not a talented kid….I have just wondered where he really fits on this team with CJ back AND if Ellington is not going to be a candidate to return kicks.

    Overall, just SUCH a better feeling than after any of our pre-seasons games last year. Don’t know ’bout anyone else, but I really needed that.

    And getting out with no significant injuries, all the better.

    And I agree that if we don’t see DJ play another down this pre-season, I’m OK with that.

  15. By JTDG on Aug 13, 2017 | Reply

    OK, My opinion about the game? Nothing. I don’t think we learned anything about this game. Why?

    Sure Nkemdiche played well, but Gabe Jackson, Rodney Hudson, and Osemele all were out.

    This is not a knock on Nkemdiche as I think he is playing well, but, Woofley has to go. According to him, Nkemdiche was in on every tackle during the broadcast. He played well, don’t get me wrong, but made 3 tackles. go back to the tape on the stuffed run, Gunter made the play, not Nkemdiche, who penetrated but was no where near the tackle.

    The O line did Ok but missing was Mack and Irvin wrecking havoc.

    The CBs weren’t beat but no Carr, Cooper or Crabtree. We stopped the run as Marshawn Lynch watched.

    To be honest, I don’t think we learned much Saturday night, as the team wasn’t tested much even in the first quarter.

    My take away,

    Stanton played well and Gabbert was running for his life with his 3rd stringers. It will be interesting if we have 2 QBs or 3 on opening day.

    The Dline of Nkemdiche, Pierre and Gunter looked good against the raiders back ups. I will be interested in how they look next week if they play against Kyle Long, Cody Whitehair and Josh Sitton. Now that is a test I want to see.

    Josh Bynes vs Scooby Wright is a great battle. It will be interesting to see what happens there.

    But for me, I learned nothing that already wasn’t known from last week.

  16. By TucsonTim on Aug 13, 2017 | Reply

    How many years has Stanton played in BA’s offense? How many weeks has Gabbert? You’ve got to think we keep 3 QB’s.

    How great was it to see the offense off to a fast start. Say what you want about the pre-season. Last year it was a great indicator of the problems that would plague the Cardinals all season. Let’s hope that was a nice preview of the offense for this season.

    Is David Johnson the most humble player in the NFL??? Already probably the best all around back in the NFL and on TV he says he needed to work on running passing routes and pass protection. You just gotta love this guy and hope he reaches his full potential.

    Special teams finally look special. Hallelujah

    Defense….still time, but against back up QBs they looked suspicious.

  17. By dobie on Aug 13, 2017 | Reply

    Special teams still need work they did not look special the gunners where slow getting down there and in one punt or kick I can’t remember witch they stop rushing toward the catcher and he had a great run

  18. By Scott H on Aug 13, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG –

    Yes, these are pre-season games, so everything has to be tempered and kept in a certain perspective. BUT where I DO take something from last night is recognizing that the circumstances in our pre-season games last year were the same as they were last night. And the Cardinals looked terrible. Last night, the Cardinals looked in snych and were executing much more effectively.

    Last year, this time, it wasn’t feeling like the opposition had anything to do with how sloppy and out of synch WE looked. It looked like WE couldn’t get out of our own way. Last night, we looked like we had our act together and were ready to play. So, it was nice to get to actually get to the point where your comments start. If that males sense….

    Hey, I’ll take that. For what it’s worth, I’ll take it.

  19. By mitchaz on Aug 13, 2017 | Reply


    Yes, the 1 AM EDT NFL Network tape had the exact flaws you mentioned.

    Excellent point about Jaron Brown…he looked fast and strong, amazing for coming back from the torn ACL 9 months ago.

  20. By rod on Aug 14, 2017 | Reply


    “Rod —

    RE: Wile

    Uh, no. Wile is there to be a punter. Dawson will kick field goals.”

    When you wrote your piece I completely didn’t see “Wile” in your writing, I don’t know why but I didn’t see that, so I thought you were talking about Dawson not kicking field goals. Had that registered, I wouldn’t have asked the question. The fact that so many people disagreed with me, made me take a deeper look at your statement, then I saw “Wile”.

    Just wanted to clear that up.

  21. By clssylssy on Aug 14, 2017 | Reply

    Not many surprises with our Cardinals but after watching other teams all weekend (with particular attention to the teams in our division) I continue to be concerned about our receivers not named Fitzgerald. Seems like everybody has an abundance of receivers and TEs that make us look kinda shaky. BA has never really used our TEs until last season when all of our receivers were down and I’m not sure they are going to be the answer we need to fix a problem we didn’t address. Watching the Seahawks last night effortlessly putting a thirty burger on the Chargers with theiri 2;s and 3’s, should be a wake up call that we’ve REALLY got our work cut out for us. Hard to believe the Cardinals once had the best receiving room in the NFL with Boldin and Fitz probably two of the most durable and consistently high quality playmakers going into their 13th and 15th years respectively! don’t think the NFC West is going to be the cake walk many believed with the Rams and 9ers both AGGRESSIVELY rebuilding.
    Robert N. had a pretty good game but I’m still not convinced our D-line is going to be anything that will intimidate anyone or our 0-line will be enough to allow our QB tp stay healthy throughout the season.
    Under this new rule, I have a feeling that players won’t be cut until the 11th hour but I hope Keim is paying attention and will be ready to spring into action and get us some replacement talent in the areas needed rather than stubbornly hanging on to the hope that given enough time our players will blossom and finally get it!

  22. By JTDG on Aug 14, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H,

    I get what you are saying. And yes, it is nice to see players doing well against back ups.

    My point is, I saw that last week and I wanted to see a little more this week. But truth be told, it was the raiders first preseason game and they decided not to play many of their starters.

    So, while Nkemdiche or insert name is looking like he has turned the corner, it sure would be nice to see how he does against the people who will actually be playing on Sundays.

    The raiders played no one of significance. So while it was nice to see the line protect Palmer, and Palmer move the ball down the field for a TD, does it happen if Mack and Irvin are coming off the edges? Especially since Veldheer has never played RT in his life.

    Or as I said, the line of Pierre, Gunter and Nkemdiche could actually be playing on Sundays. They looked pretty good against the raiders. But they didnt go up against one of the best interior olines in football. I wanted to see how they stood up against that. So, seeing them do well against back ups does nothing for me. Trust me, it is a world of difference playing against Osemele vs whoever Nkemdiche was beating.

    So, this game showed us the Britt Golden is a force to be considered and there is a battle at QB2 and that 4th ILB spot is intrigging, not much else was learned that we didn’t see last week.

    I am looking forward to seeing the bears come to town. I hope we get to see their excellent interior line against some of the young dlineman. I want to see if Reddick can shed blocks and meet RBs in the hole. I want to see if the cards starting dline can get to their starting QB.

    Unfortunately, the bears won’t give us a good measuring stick to see how our oline interior holds up or give us a good idea about the CBs. We will have to wait for week 3 against the falcons for that. Yes, that Falcon game will be a nice measuring stick on where our DBs are.

  23. By nuke johnson on Aug 14, 2017 | Reply

    IMHO I don’t think Stanton will replace Carson. Therefore we need to continue to evaluate Gabbert. I would like to see Gabbert plan with the first string guys. Keep 3 QBs Stanton can backup Gabbert next year. Short of that Conner Cook and AJ McCarron look pretty good

  24. By Scott H on Aug 14, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG –

    Ya know, I can’t believe that in my previous rather rosy critique of how we looked on Sat night, I didn’t comment on the one position that has caused both you and I the most indigestion this off-season – the other CB spot! Truth be told, I did not watch the game, so…..I not gonna comment on things I didn’t see. On one hand, it didn’t look like the Raiders did a lot of damage through the air. BUT… your point, yeah, we weren’t seeing David Carr and his full complement of weapons, either. So…..clearly, we still have no idea.

    I really do have to wonder if the guy who will ( hopefully ) man that other side of the field effectively is someone who is not even on the roster right now. That is certainly not out of the question. But it IS cause for concern.

  25. By JTDG on Aug 14, 2017 | Reply


    Yeah EJ Manual throwing to guys I don’t know is not much of a test.
    I think I could have played CB that game.

    Then we have Glennon throwing to guys I don’t know next week. I know our secondary will look good in that one.

    Won’t be till the Falcon game till we see what the secondary looks like. (Provided Julio plays). Remember last year when Gabriel had a career day against us? Julio, Sanu, and Gabriel with those backs and Ryan running it all, now that will tell us if the defense is ready to go.

  26. By Scott H on Aug 14, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG –

    RE – it was nice to see our players doing well against back-ups.

    Well….how long did we have OUR starters in??? It wasn’t long, was it?? It’s not like our starters went for extended playing time against back-ups. Also, maybe we really do have more younger / unproven / coming back from injury players right now that NEED the work right now than Oakland does. Well….isn’t that what the pre-season should be for??

    Another point to consider is that this was our 2nd time out this pre-season but the 1st for the Raiders. Hey, we played in the HOF game. Consequently, the Cards and Cowboys will be “one game ahead” of the rest of the league for the rest of the pre-season. Think about it….that might have us somewhat out of synch with where other teams are. But I don’t think it’s a bad thing.

    Anyway….time to move on.

  27. By . on Aug 14, 2017 | Reply

    I always feel like our defense is in trouble when we face a team with fast guys

  28. By Big Ken on Aug 14, 2017 | Reply

    Kerwyn Williams coughed up a fumble trying to do too much. I hope it’s not the kiss of death for him. It’s still preseason.

  29. By Rick on Aug 16, 2017 | Reply

    Yes , We were all surprised that Stanton played so well . That is even more reason to keep Gabbert around. Injuries are what always kill us. Oh and special teams . Maybe that will be better this year. If just special team are better . We could make the playoffs.


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