FLAGSTAFF, AZ - AUGUST 04: Head coach Ken Whisenhunt of the Arizona Cardinals watches practice during the team training camp at Northern Arizona University on August 4, 2011 in Flagstaff, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Cardinals Preseason Game 1 Comprehensive Recap

Coach Whisenhunt looks back over positives and negatives from opening win vs. the Raiders.

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Arizona Cardinals Win Preseason Opener, Beat Oakland Raiders 24-18

The first preseason game that the Arizona Cardinals played against the Oakland Raiders was everything you figure a preseason game it be. It was long, it was at times sloppy, you see a bunch of players you will never hear of and there were a few really nice plays. All of that. In the end, Max Hall led Cardinals down the field for the game-winning touchdown with 39 seconds left, hitting Isaiah Williams to give Arizona the 24-18 win to start the preseason.

Kevin Kolb played the first quarter for the Cardinals and was 4/7 for 68 yards. The Cardinals failed to score while he was in  the game, but he was able to connect with Larry Fitzgerald for two of the completions and 60 of the yards, including a 43-yard deep throw that was perfectly thrown and perfectly played by Fitz, who hauled it in one-handed.

John Skelton led the Cardinals to ten of their points and their first score, hitting Stephen Williams for an 18-yard touchdown pass. 

Richard Bartel came in for most of the second half and threw for a score, hitting rookie tight end Robert Housler to give Arizona a 17-15 lead. 

But it was Hall, who drove the team down the field in five plays and 68 yards to win. He was 4/4 on the drive.

The defense showed it was stout when it counted. They allowed the Raiders to move the ball, but only gave up only one TD. Sebastian Janikowski hit four field goals, including a 57-yarder that gave Oakland the lead with just over two minutes left in the game. 

Neither team had an interception, Only the Cardinals had a turnover -- a fumble. 

Next up for the Cardinals is a game next week against the defending champion Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. 

With injuries, Todd Heap for Arizona sprained his thumb in the first half and Max Komar did not play with a tweaked groin. The Raiders lost safety Hiram Eugene in the second half.

For more Arizona Cardinals coverage, visit Revenge of the Birds.


Todd Heap Sprains Thumb, Leaves Game With Injury

One goal that teams have in the preseason is to avoid injuries. During the Arizona Cardinals preseason game versus the Oakland Raiders, one of the prized acquisitions left the game to the locker room because of an injury. 

Tight end Todd Heap sprained his left thumb on a reception he had from John Skelton in the second quarter. 

He left the game and he will not return. 

The Cardinals have been fairly fortunate with injuries, save the torn bicep tendon that Adrian Wilson, so this will be a big blow to the team if Heap has to miss any time. Fortunately, the injury does not look or sound serious and it would not be surprising to see that he misses no other gametime. 

The drive in which he was hurt eventually led to a score, a touchdown pass from John Skelton to Stephen Williams.

Catch more Cardinals coverage at Revenge of the Birds.


Cardinals' Kevin Kolb Shows Chemistry With Larry Fitzgerald In Second Preseason Series

In the first preseason series for the Arizona Cardinals against the Oakland Raiders, Kevin Kolb showed a good sense of the offensive scheme while showcasing his legs.

In the second preseason series, Kolb proved to the Cardinals faithful that he had a strong arm as well, connecting with Larry Fitzgerald multiple times, including a huge 43-yard pickup on a Go route that brought the Cards all the way to the Oakland 35.

Kolb located his pass to Fitz perfectly, landing the ball on his outside shoulder to avoid an interception attempt by the Raiders.

Two plays later, Kolb threw to Fitzgerald on a Stop route, hitting the receiver in stride on the right sideline for a 17-yard pickup.

While the offense was stymied at the 2-yard line on several unsuccessful rushing attempts by Beanie Wells, the offense is already showing a lot of potential and promise with Kevin Kolb under center for the Arizona Cardinals.


Arizona Cardinals Allow Raiders To Score First

The Arizona Cardinals defense overall played pretty decent, but the Oakland Raiders scored first. Safety Rashad Johnson was called for a 50-yard pass interference penalty, but after that, the defense held it's ground. 

Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 39-yard field goal. 

During the drive there was a small skirmish, as Dan Williams got thrown to the ground late and then retaliated a bit with Darnell Dockett also exchanging words with the Oakland offensive line. 

The penalty against Johnson was questionable, but nonetheless, it is not the way he wants to be remembered when he needs to show that he can play competently in the place of injured Adrian Wilson

More to come during the game. Visit Revenge of the Birds for more.  


Kevin Kolb Shows Promise In First Arizona Cardinals Preseason Series

After a Sebastian Janikowski kickoff flew out of the back of the endzone, Kevin Kolb took the field for the first time as a member of the Arizona Cardinals.

With the ball placed on the 20-yard line, Kolb lined up under center with a trips formation on his left, which shifted to an Offset I presnap. The handoff to Beanie Wells was smooth, but the blocking wasn't there and Wells was stopped for no gain.

On second down, Kolb had a Dual TE formation on his right. A linebacker blitz on his weak side forced him to overthrow Larry Fitzgerald, who was lined up on his left.

Third down came quickly, and Kolb rose to the occasion. Feeling the pressure of Oakland's defensive line, Kolb tucked the ball and took off down the right side of the field, gaining 15 yards and flashing his impressive speed.

At the 35-yard line, Kolb and the Cardinals attempted a swing play, but Early Doucet couldn't break free for a gain. On second down, Kolb rolled out to the right and nearly completed a pass to Jeff King, but the pass was batted down and nearly intercepted.

On third down at the 34-yard line, Kolb was lined up in a shotgun formation with two running backs. Not liking what he was seeing, Kolb tried to relive the running magic and bolted up the middle, but was sacked for a loss by the Raiders.

All in all, Kolb looked good on his first possession, but there's a long way to go before the Cardinals can call this offense a finished product.


Arizona Cardinals Playing In Front Of Very Small Crowd In Oakland To Start

Just minutes before kickoff of the preseason game between the Arizona Cardinals and Oakland Raiders, it looks like An Arizona Diamondbacks game facing the Houston Astros. Most have been figuring that attendance would be huge considering the crowds teams have had in training camps because of the loss of football in the offseason. 

I guess in California the preseason is no big deal. Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic  tweeted a photo of the stadium, where it looked like, in the words of Somers, "a JV game."


Usually against the Raiders you face a much larger, more rabid crowd. However, it is a weekday evening. For other sports, California fans are notoriously late. 

The game is on. It will be the smallest crowd the Cardinals see. After all, they had 13,000 faithful in Flagstaff for a scrimmage. 


What To Watch For In Cardinals-Raiders Preseason Game

Many people would tell you that the preseason is boring to watch because most of the game it is the reserves and scrubs playing against other reserves and scrubs. In that sense, yes, it can be a bit tiresome, especially when there are the mistakes that come from the first week of the preseason. As the Arizona Cardinals send Kevin Kolb to be their field general for the first time in game action against the Oakland Raider, you have to watch the game for certain things to hold your intrigue, just in case you need something to do that.

Here are a few:

How Kolb looks overall: I don't want to read too much into one performance, but focus on the whole. Is he generally on the same page as his receivers? Is the ball looking good in general? Are his decisions the right ones?

Offensive line performance: How big are the holes that are opened up for Beanie Well, Ryan Williams and the other guys on the roster? How much time do the quarterbacks have? Are there pre-snap penalties?

How Rashad Johnson plays: Johnson has some pressure on him with Adrian Wilson out. The team has been waiting for him to step up. Will he be in the right places during the game? Does he stand out at all?

Pass coverage by cornerbacks: The young core of Greg Toler, Patrick Peterson, A.J. Jefferson and Richard Marshall have a lot of potential. Jefferson has gone from undrafted a year ago to currently number one on the depth chart. How do the lot of them look in coverage? With DRC gone, that is a concern.

Early Doucet: Does he stay healthy?

Offensive formations: I have speculated for a couple of weeks that the offensive looks will change with the tight end position now being a strength. How often will the offense come out in four-receiver sets? It was the most frequently used personnel package in 2010.

Sustained offense: Although the preseason is not always an accurate way to gauge things, the 2010 offense stalled a lot in the preseason and never stopped stalling. How many sustained drives do they have?

Obviously, there are several other things, but those are a good few to start with. Keep a roster close by. You will see a lot of numbers and players you will not know.

But if there is one thing to overlook, it is the actual scoreboard. Cardinals fans know that from years of 4-0 preseasons only to follow them up with four or five-win seasons.


Arizona Cardinals TV/Radio Schedule For First Preseason Game Vs. Oakland Raiders

Football games are finally here. Although with the NFL lockout it looked like the start of he preseason might have been lost, the Arizona Cardinals begin their quest to attempt to reclaim the NFC West title they relinquished in 2010 to a 7-9 Seattle Seahawks team. The Cardinals' path begins with a preseason contest Thursday night against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland.

Since we all will want to watch or listen here is the big information you need to know. 

The game will be televised locally in the Phoenix area on ABC TV-15. Kickoff is at 7:00 PM Arizona time. Their TV coverage begins at 6:30.

On the radio side of things, came coverage begins on FM 92.3 KTAR at 4:30 PM. 

If you cannot watch the game live, it will be replayed on Saturday at 12:30 PM Arizona time on FSN AZ.

Another viewing option the NFL is providing is online streaming of all games. There is a subscription, but you can watch and rewatch games on-demand. 

For in-game discussion, be sure to visit the open thread there will be on Revenge of the Birds. There will be game coverage there and here as well.


Arizona Cardinals Prep For Oakland Preseason Game, Winning Is 'Important For Us'

Thursday at 7:00 p.m. Arizona time we will get our first look at the 2011 Arizona Cardinals in live NFL action. Preseason games in the NFL take on more meaning than other sports, but then again, everything in the NFL's compressed schedule and heightened media (and fan) environment is more important than other sports. And for Cardinals Ken Whisenhunt, even winning this exhibition game matters.

"It will be a great chance for us to play together as a team and obviously we want to win the game because that's important for us. We're going to try and put our guys in the best position," Whisenhunt said on Monday.

Winning might be important, but game prep for this first preseason game is anything but normal.

Not only have the Raiders changed much of what they do with the addition of a new coach and many new players, the Cardinals are very much focused on their own situation. Without a mini-camp and OTAs to learn how to play with new quarterback Kevin Kolb and new defensive coordinator Ray Horton, the team is playing catch up.

Whisenhunt explains the plan, "We'll refine it, cut it down and give our players a list of the things that we're going to run in the game and work on those in practice over the next couple of days so that when we play Thursday night we'll be able to play fast and be able to adjust to whatever different looks."

The coach says he's excited to see what the team can do but acknowledges it "won't be perfect". 

For more on the Arizona Cardinals, visit Revenge of the Birds.

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