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Raiders Try to Play Cards Right

Updated: .August 13, 2017

By Charles Jay

The Arizona Cardinals wanted to take a look at a lot of people in their pre-season opener last week, but they did not tax any starters. That will change as they head home to face the Oakland Raiders in a game that will kick off at 10 PM ET at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ. Don’t forget that if you are an America’s Bookie customer, you can engage in live betting with two different options, as you keep the action lively.

Arizona lost to Dallas in the Hall of Fame Game last week, and that gave coach Bruce Arians a chance to see a lot of people. Now the first-teamers will take some of the snaps against a Raider squad that trots out David Carr for the first time since he broke his right leg in December.

What you’d probably have to worry about with the Cards in this particular game is how deep they are going to go into their quarterback position. We expect that Carson Palmer will see limited action, and Drew Stanton the same. But if they have to go to Trevor Knight they will have to live with his growing pains. Knight was well-traveled as a collegian, starting out at Oklahoma and then transferring after he had lost the job there, and winding up at Texas A&M, where he played with Myles Garrett, this year’s #1 overall draft pick.

Arizona has a third quarterback who has been a starter in the NFL. Blaine Gabbert crapped out with the Jacksonville Jaguars after being drafted in the first round, and then wound up being the guy who took the job away from Colin Kaepernick with the 49ers. He wasn’t half bad there, but wasn’t going to be part of Kyle Shanahan’s offense. Last week in the Hall of Fame Game, he completed eleven of his 14 passing attempts.

In the NFL betting odds that have been placed on this game, the Cardinals are the favorites:

Arizona Cardinals -3.5
Oakland Raiders +3.5

Over 40.5 points -110
Under 40.5 points -110

We will see some competition at the running back position with the Cards, with everyone but David Johnson a little uncertain about what their role will ultimately be. D.J. led the league in all-purpose yardage last season, and over 800 of those yards came through receptions. Chris Johnson was once the most feared running back in the league, and was very useful when he first got to Phoenix. But he is getting older, and may not be part of things going forward. He would catch on somewhere, but with a logjam of backs, including Andre Ellington, Kerwynn Williams and Elijhaa Penny, room may run out. And Arians really liked what he saw out of fifth-round draft pick TJ Logan, who can make quite an impact on punt returns and may be available after Week 7, as he has been put on injured reserve with a wrist injury.

The Cards pride themselves on being able to rush the passer; they led the league in sacks last season with 48. And they looked to get even better in that area, by spending a first-round draft pick on Temple’s Haason Reddick, who will rush the quarterback along with Chandler Jones and Markus Golden.

We have no idea how aggressive the Cardinals will be in that respect during this first pre-season game, but it deserves mention that Carr won’t have his principal pass protector in this contest. Donald Penn, the left tackle who was one of the three Raider offensive linemen to go to the Pro Bowl, is in a contract holdout. So Del Rio will have to be pretty careful with his signal-caller.

We kind of like the advantage the Cards have with depth at the skill positions, especially as no one should be looking for much out of Carr. EJ Manuel is shaky proposition, as is Connor Cook. We’ll lay the points, as the Charles Jay / America’s Bookie Challenge continues on Saturday night.

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