Preseason football is back baby! We’re inching closer to the start of real football, but before we get there, we have a few more exhibition games to go. There are five games on Thursday night’s slate, including the Oakland Raiders traveling to Arizona to take on the Cardinals. There are a lot of intriguing storylines here: Hard Knocks, Antonio Brown, and Kyler Murray to name a few, so this should actually be a fun one to watch. Or at least, a fun first half to watch.
Oakland won their first preseason game 14-3 over the LA Rams in which both of their backup QBs shined. Mike Glennon was 17 for 25 with 200 yards but threw two interceptions. Nate Peterman, who somehow still has a job, went 9 for 12 with 66 yards and a touchdown. Peterman also had three rushes for 56 yards, including a 50-yard scramble in the third quarter.
Peterman led the Raiders to their only two scores of the game, one in the first quarter and one in the third quarter. Second-year defensive end Arden Key had a sack and is looking to have a bigger season than he did a year ago. The LSU product was taken at the end of the third round but was widely considered a fringe first-round talent.
Arizona was also a winner in its first preseason game of the year, beating the Los Angeles Chargers 17-13. The major story here was how first overall pick Kyler Murray would perform, and well, he performed well. He played only one series but went 6 for 7 for 44 yards. Coach Kliff Kingsbury says that Murray will play more in his second game, but the exact number of series or plays hasn’t been revealed.
Brett Hundley came in after Murray and was solid. He completed 10 of his 14 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown, adding 14 yards on the ground with his one carry. The Cardinals’ wide receiver group continues to be crowded with the likes of Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler, and Kevin White, among others. None of those did anything of note in Week 1, but second-year player Tret Sherfield caught four balls for four yards and a score.
I’d be remiss not to include a tidbit about Brown somewhere in here. Brown returned to practice this week after a lengthy absence due to frostbite, and then a legal battle with the NFL over a 10-year-old helmet. Brown is now being sued over unpaid bills for a personal chef, to the tune of almost $40,000. Brown is not expected to play in this one.
Justin Pugh will miss his second straight game for the Cardinals but is expected back next week. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Kevin White will not play due to injury. Budda Baker and Hassan Reddick are still question marks heading into Thursday night’s game. But we will see Andy Isabella in action tonight. For the Raiders, Maxx Crosby, Antonio Brown, Gabe Jackson and Isaiah Johnson will all be out for Thursday night’s game.
The legend of preseason Nathan Peterman lives on. Take the Raiders.