Raiders/Cardinals Preview: Getting to Know the Arizona Offense

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Raiders DE Khalil Mack
May 23, 2017; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack (52) stretches during organized team activities at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

When the Oakland Raiders stroll into Glendale Saturday night, they face a Cardinals team trying to find balance. Although Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald enter the twilight of their careers, this team possesses youth at various positions. Enough to concern defensive coordinators.


AROUND COVER32

The Latest: Packers release troubled, DT, Letroy Guion

Around the NFL: HOF RB, Ladainian Tomlinson, proves he is still in a class all of his own

What’s Trending: Jets’ DE, Sheldon Richardson, takes shots at Brandon Marshall

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AROUND COVER32

The Latest: Packers release troubled, DT, Letroy Guion

Around the NFL: HOF RB, Ladainian Tomlinson, proves he is still in a class all of his own

What’s Trending: Jets’ DE, Sheldon Richardson, takes shots at Brandon Marshall

Looking Ahead: Patriots’ offense set up well for QB transition after 2018

Game Preview: Preseason Week 1: Bears vs Broncos game preview


Quarterbacks

As mentioned, Carson Palmer is getting up there in age. Yet, he still owns an above average throwing arm and the nerve to roast defenses vertically. However, Palmer lacks any mobility and holds the ball for an eternity. Veteran Drew Stanton will play the second quarter. Stanton knows the offense. In other words, nothing fancy. Blaine Gabbert enters as the backup. For what it’s worth, Gabbert played well versus Dallas in the preseason opener. Immediately, you notice the shorter delivery and quicker scan of the field from him.

Running Backs

All-Pro David Johnson may not see the field often in this matchup. Yet, his versatility makes him the best back in the league not named Le’Veon Bell. The Cardinals value speedy running backs above all else. As an illustration, Johnson’s backups (Ellington, Johnson, and Logan) each bring explosion to the table. Without delay, they can take the ball the distance.

Offensive Line 

In due time, this unit could gel and play better. Now, they are prone to losing to edge rushers. Former Raiders left tackle Jared Veldheer now mans the right side. While many within RaiderNation complained about Reggie McKenzie letting him leave. Veldheer played well in Arizona. On the other hand, they want D.J. Humphries at left tackle. Under those circumstances, Veldheer could move on.

Receivers

While the Hall of Fame measures Larry Fitzgerald for the gold jacket, there’s a season to play. Immediately, Fitzgerald’s name should be mentioned as one of the best ever. On the field, his route-running separates him from most receivers. Considering he’s 6-foot-3, the efficiency of his cuts still gives him some separation. While he will not beat a corner in a footrace, the decisiveness of his breaks could hurt.

On the other side, John Brown’s playmaking ability is the polar opposite. Brown relies on speed to destroy defenses over the top. If the Raiders like Sean Smith over Brown, he will score from anyway. Honestly, Breon Borders needs to answer the challenge.

Gameplan versus the Offense

Regardless of who takes the snaps under center, the Raiders need to generate a perimeter rush. All of a sudden the edge rushers, not just Mack wreak havoc in the backfield. Also, if Sean Smith plays, line him up over Fitzgerald. For the Raiders to succeed, John Brown needs to feel disrupted at the line. Any free release and trouble start. In reality, the Raiders need to emerge healthy. In addition, the defense must show any signs of life.

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