Grades for Raiders-Cardinals
Here are the top takeaways, and the top 5 grades for each team, from the preseason encounter between the Cardinals and the Raiders:
–Looking to build on a spectacular rookie season as a run defender, LB Khalil Mack (+11.3) laid waste to the Cardinals’ O-line last night in the passing game. On 50 snaps he registered eight pressures (2 sacks, 1 hit, 5 hurries) and forced a fumble on a short-yardage run in a dominant performance.
–While Mack starred on defense, QB Derek Carr (-2.7) and the offense struggled to capitalize on that dominance in the first half. Red-zone struggles were paired with an awful interception after a pump fake on a screen that was returned for a touchdown.
–After a disappointing debut against St. Louis, rookie DE Mario Edwards Jr. (+3.2) has rebounded with consecutive strong showings as a pass-rusher and picked up where Mack left off in the second half. Edwards beat Cardinals’ first-round pick OT D.J. Humphries (-2.4) for a sack and a hurry in the fourth quarter to match his haul from the second quarter against OT Jared Veldheer (-3.2).
Top 5 graded players:
1. LB Khalil Mack (+11.3)
2. DL Denico Autry (+5.5)
3. LB Malcolm Smith (+3.3)
4. LB Mario Edwards Jr. (+3.2)
5. DB T.J. Carrie (+3.1)
–A victim of his offensive line’s poor display, QB Carson Palmer (-4.0) struggled to get anything going in any direction and at any depth last night. Pressured on 15 of his 26 dropbacks, a rare standout moment for Palmer in fact came with his legs early in the second quarter, climbing past another aggressive Raiders’ pass rush to convert a 3rd-and-9 with a 10-yard scramble.
–Untargeted in his first two preseason outings, CB Patrick Peterson (-0.8) surrendered his first catch this August to Amari Cooper (+0.6) late in the second quarter on a 36-yard catch and run to convert a 3rd-and-11. Peterson later helped ensure another frustrating red-zone failure for the Raiders, breaking up a second-down pass to WR Michael Crabtree (-0.8) after Carson Palmer’s second interception.
–The Cardinals’ offensive line has been a problem area for some time, and among their offensive linemen only three players (Ted Larsen, Antoine McClain and Bobby Massie) earned positive overall grades. Jared Veldheer and Bradley Sowell (-11.7) took the brunt of the punishment in the first half ,but D.J. Humphries ensured those problems continued on the edge in the second half, taking his preseason total to six pressures allowed (2 sacks, 3 hits, 1 hurry) in the process.
Top 5 graded players:
1. DL Josh Mauro (+3.1)
2. LB Alex Okafor (+2.9)
3. DL Calais Campbell (+2.3)
4. DB Tyrann Mathieu (+2.2)
5. LB Kevin Minter (+1.9)